The AIF Project

Thomas Pallasen OLESEN

Regimental number2047
Place of birthBundaberg, Queensland
SchoolState School, Brisbane, Queensland
ReligionChurch of England
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation30.7
Height5' 8.5"
Weight131 lbs
Next of kinMother, Mrs M.S. Olesen, 41 Queen Street, Ashfield, Sydney, New South Wales
Enlistment date21 October 1916
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll21 October 1916
Place of enlistmentSydney, New South Wales
Unit nameLight Trench Mortar Battery, 6th Reinforcement
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board RMS Osterley on 10 February 1917
An Embarkation Roll for the Light Trench Mortar Battery, 6th Reinforcement, does not appear on the AWM website.
Rank from Nominal RollCorporal
Unit from Nominal Roll35th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 12 October 1917
Age at death from cemetery records31
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 25), 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: Thomas (d. 28 March 1912) and Maren OLESEN
Other details

War service: Western Front

Embarked Sydney, 10 February 1917; disembarked Plymouth, England, 11 April 1917, and marched in to No 3 Camp, Parkhouse.

Transferred to 62nd Bn, Windmill Hill, 27 April 1917.

Appointed Temporary Corporal, 26 May 1917.

On Command, BF & PT School, 26 June 1917; rejoined 62nd, 7 July 1917.

Promoted Corporal, 22 July 1917.

Proceeded overseas to France, 23 August 1917; taken on strength, 35th Bn, in the field, 1 September 1917.

Killed in action, 12 October 1917.

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, OLESEN Thomas Pallasen

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