Regimental number3707
Place of birthSandhurst, near Bendigo, Victoria
Address32 McClure Street, Bendigo, Victoria
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation30
Height5' 8"
Weight149 lbs
Next of kinMother, Mrs Eliza Bennetts, 32 McClure Street, Bendigo, Victoria
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date2 August 1915
Place of enlistmentBendigo, Victoria
Rank on enlistment2nd Lieutenant
Unit name5th Battalion, 12th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/22/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A40 Ceramic on 23 November 1915
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll5th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 27 October 1917
Place of death or woundingFlanders, Belgium
Age at death32
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 7), 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
Family/military connectionsBrother: 513 Frederick BENNETTS, 2 Field Company Engineers, died of wounds, France, 24 August 1918.
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Taken on strength, 5th Bn, Serapeum, 22 February 1916.

Embarked Alexandria to join British Expeditionary Force, 25 March 1916; disembarked Marseilles, France, 30 March 1916.

Found guilty, 28 August 1916, of being absent from tattoo roll call from 9 pm, to 9.40 pm, 25 August 1916: awarded 2 days' Field Punishment No 2.

Attached for duty to 2nd Infantry Brigade Headquarters for duty with 4th Section, 1st Divisional Signal Company, France, 10 August 1917.

Killed in action, Belgium, 27 October 1917.

Medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, BENNETTS William