The AIF Project


Regimental number3105
Place of birthCunnamulla, Queensland
SchoolCharleville State School, Queensland
ReligionRoman Catholic
AddressMount Purell via Uki, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation32
Height6' 0"
Weight170 lbs
Next of kinFather, Henry Francis Akers, Coorabell Creek, Richmond River, New South Wales
Enlistment date20 November 1916
Place of enlistmentBrisbane, Queensland
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name52nd Battalion 8th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/69/3
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A64 Demosthenes on 23 December 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll52nd Battalion
FateKilled in Action 26 September 1917
Place of death or woundingPolygon Wood, Ypres, Belgium
Age at death32.11
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 29), Belgium

The Menin Gate Memorial (so named because the road led to the town of Menin) was constructed on the site of a gateway in the eastern walls of the old Flemish town of Ypres, Belgium, where hundreds of thousands of allied troops passed on their way to the front, the Ypres salient, the site from April 1915 to the end of the war of some of the fiercest fighting of the war.

The Memorial was conceived as a monument to the 350,000 men of the British Empire who fought in the campaign. Inside the arch, on tablets of Portland stone, are inscribed the names of 56,000 men, including 6,178 Australians, who served in the Ypres campaign and who have no known grave.

The opening of the Menin Gate Memorial on 24 July 1927 so moved the Australian artist Will Longstaff that he painted 'The Menin Gate at Midnight', which portrays a ghostly army of the dead marching past the Menin Gate. The painting now hangs in the Australian War Memorial, Canberra, at the entrance of which are two medieval stone lions presented to the Memorial by the City of Ypres in 1936.

Since the 1930s, with the brief interval of the German occupation in the Second World War, the City of Ypres has conducted a ceremony at the Memorial at dusk each evening to commemorate those who died in the Ypres campaign.

Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Henry Thomas and Agnes AKERS, Coorabell, Richmond River, New Suth Wales. Native of Cunnamulla, Queensland
Other details

War service: Western Front

Embarked Sydney, 22 December 1916; admitted to hospital (sick), at sea, 6 January 1917; discharged to duty, 7 January 1917; disembarked Plymouth, England, 3 March 1917.

Marched in, 13th Training Bn, Codford, 4 March 1917.

Admitted to hospital (sick), Codford, 13 March 1917; rejoined 13th Training Bn, Codford, 31 March 1917.

Admitted to hospital (Otitis Medina), Fargo Military Hospital, 17 May 1917; discharged to depot, 24 May 1917.

Admitted to hospital (sick), 28 May 1917.

Embarked Folkestone to join the British Expeditionary Force, France, 6 August 1917; marched in, 4th Australian Divisional Base Depot, Havre, 8 August 1917.

Taken on strength, 52nd Bn, in the field, 24 August 1917.

Killed in action, Polygon Wood, 26 September 1917.

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, AKERS John

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