The AIF Project

Sydney Sylvanus MILLS

Place of birthCarrieton South Australia
SchoolPeterborough Public School, South Australia
Other trainingUniversity of Adelaide, South Australia
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationTeacher
AddressPort Augusta West, South Australia
Marital statusMarried
Age at embarkation26
Next of kinWife, Mrs P H Mills, Quorn, South Australia
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date15 September 1915
Rank on enlistment2nd Lieutenant
Unit name10th Battalion, 15th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/27/4
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Adelaide, South Australia, on board RMS Mongolia on 9 March 1916
Rank from Nominal RollLieutenant
Unit from Nominal Roll10th Battalion
Recommendations (Medals and Awards)

Military Cross


'Great bravery, devotion to duty and powers of leadership and initiative. Personally rendered many gallant acts.' (Bullecourt 7 May 1917).
Recommendation date: 14 May 1917

FateKilled in Action 20 September 1917
Place of death or woundingPolygon Wood, Belgium
Age at death28
Age at death from cemetery records28
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 17), 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
60
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Howard and Susan MILLS; husband of Phoebe MILLS, Quorn, South Australia. Native of Carrieton, South Australia
Medals

Military Cross

'For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. Under heavy bombardment by the enemy he carried out the work of consolidation. His section of the trench was repeatedly blown in, but with great tenacity and courage, he hung on and prevented the enemy from regaining his position.'
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 219
Date: 20 December 1917

Other details

War service: Western Front

Medals: Military Cross, British War Medal, Victory Medal

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