The AIF Project

Thomas BLAIKIE

Regimental number2537
Place of birthMelrose, Scotland
SchoolPublic School
Age on arrival in Australia13
ReligionPresbyterian
OccupationFarm hand
AddressMcKimie Street, East Fremantle, Western Australia
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation19
Next of kinFather, Bartholomew Logie Blaikie, McKimmie Street, Bicton, East Fremantle, Western Australia
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date18 July 1916
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll26 July 1916
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name44th Battalion, 5th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/61/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Fremantle, Western Australia, on board HMAT A8 Argyllshire on 9 November 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll44th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 31 July 1917
Place of death or woundingnr Warneton, Belgium
Age at death19
Age at death from cemetery records20
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 27), 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
137
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Bartholomew Logan and Margaret BLAIKIE, McKimmie Street, Bicton, Western Australia. Native of Fremantle, Western Australia
Family/military connectionsBrothers: 1898 Driver Walter Brunton BLAIKIE, 2nd Pioneer Bn, returned to Australia, 28 February 1919; 2020 Pte William BLAIKIE, 2nd Pioneer Bn, returned to Australia, 15 May 1919.
Other details

War service: Western Front

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal

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