The AIF Project

William Leslie NORMAN

Regimental number1749
Place of birthHamilton, Victoria
ReligionChurch of England
AddressLonsdale Street, Hamilton, Victoria
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation18
Height5' 5.5"
Weight123 lbs
Next of kinMother, Mrs M Norman, Lonsdale Street, Hamilton, Victoria
Previous military serviceServed in the Senior Cadets (Sergeant) for 6 years.
Enlistment date23 June 1915
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll23 March 1915
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name21st Battalion, 2nd Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/38/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A64 Demosthenes on 16 July 1915
Rank from Nominal RollCorporal
Unit from Nominal Roll24th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 8 October 1917
Age at death from cemetery records20
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 23), 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 John and Margaret NORMAN, Lonsdale Street, Hamilton, Victoria
Other details

War service: Egypt, Gallipoli, Western Front

Proceeded to join the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force at Gallipoli, 30 August 1915. Admitted to 6th Field Ambulance, 1 October 1915 (diarrhoea); rejoined unit, 9 October 1915. Admitted to 6th Field Ambulance, 18 October 1915 (septic hand); transferred to 1st Australian Casualty Clearing Station, 20 October 1915; to Malta, 27 October 1915, and admitted to St George's Hospital, 27 October 1915; rejoined unit, Tel el Kebir, Egypt, 11 January 1916.

Proceeded from Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 20 March 1916; disembarked Marseilles, 26 March 1916. Appointed Lance Corporal, 17 August 1916.

Admitted to 7th Australian Field Ambulance, 25 March 1917 (septic thumb); transferred to 3rd Casualty Clearing Station, 27 March 1917; by Ambulance Train to 12th General Hospital, Rouen, 30 March 1917; to 2nd Convalescent Depot, 13 April 1917; to 4th Australian Infantry Base Depot, 16 April 1917; rejoined unit, 5 May 1917.

Promoted Temporary Corporal, 5 May 1917; substantive Corporal, 5 August 1917.

Killed in action, Belgium, 8 October 1917.

Medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal

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