The AIF Project

John PHILLIPS

Regimental number3236
Place of birthMerthyr Tydfil, Glamorganshire, Wales
ReligionBaptist
OccupationLabourer
AddressGwalia Farm, Welsh Settlement near Moora, Western Australia
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation24
Next of kinSister, Margaret May Phillips, Gwalia Farm, Welsh Settlement near Moora, Western Australia
Enlistment date10 August 1915
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name28th Battalion, 7th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/45/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Fremantle, Western Australia, on board HMAT A7 Medic on 18 January 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll28th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 20 September 1917
Age at death from cemetery records25
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
114
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Richard and Margaret PHILLIPS. Native of Wales
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Disembarked Alexandria, 16 February 1916.

Proceeded from Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 21 March 1916; disembarked Marseilles, 27 March 1916.

Admitted to 20th General Hospital, Camiers, 31 March 1916 (scabies); taken on strength, 28th Bn, 14 September 1916.

Admitted to 7th Field Ambulance, 24 October 1916 (diarrhoea); transferred to No. 10 Stationary Hospital, 31 October 1916.; rejoined unit, 23 December 1916.

Found guilty of an act prejudicial to the good order of military discipline, in that he did discard his rifle when ONLY SLIGHTLY WOUNDED. Awarded 28 days' Field Punishment No. 2 and to forfeit 5 pounds 10 shillings for cost of rifle, 23 April 1917.

Wounded (self inflicted), 24 April 1917 (gun shot wound, hand); admitted to 2/1 Casualty Clearing Station, 25 April 1917; transferred to 61st Casualty Clearing Station. Found guilty by Field General Court Martial held at Beugnatre, 29 April 1917, of conduct to the prejudice of good order and military discipline: wounding himself by discharging his rifle whilst on ration fatigue, 23 April 1917: awarded 90 days' Field Punishment No. 1. Rejoined Bn, 11 August 1917.

Found guilty of being absent from 6.15 am parade, 30 August 1917: awarded 7 days' Field Punishment No. 2.

Killed in action, Belgium, 20 September 1917.

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal

Base Records wrote, 19 July 1920, to his sister, Miss M. Phillips, Coronation Street, North Perth, Western Australia, pointing out that the Star of David was 'the emblem of the Jewish faith', and asking, in light of the fact that he was a member of the Baptist Church, to have the Cross inscribed on the headstone. She replied, 20 December 1920: 'I had misunderstood the symbol of Christianity & the Emblem of Jewish faith. I had (sic) decided to have a Welsh inscription but it makes no difference, it can be put in English. The inscription can be as follows: "His duty nobly done."'

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