The AIF Project

William Mason PROUDFOOT

Regimental number2662
Place of birthPerth, Scotland
Age on arrival in Australia23
OccupationRailway employee
AddressWakefield Street, Albion, Brisbane, Queensland
Marital statusMarried
Age at embarkation25
Next of kinWife, Mrs Isabella Proudfoot, Wakefield Street, Albion, Brisbane, Queensland
Previous military serviceServed for 2 years in the Garrison Artillery, Forfarshire, Scotland.
Enlistment date24 May 1915
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name9th Battalion, 8th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/26/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Brisbane, Queensland, on board HMAT A55 Kyarra on 16 August 1915
Rank from Nominal RollCorporal
Unit from Nominal Roll49th Battalion
Recommendations (Medals and Awards)

Military Medal

'These NCOs [also 3848 Thomas D LAVEY] kept the men together when their Officers were wounded and until reinforcement Officers came up carried on. Their work was excellent throughout the whole period.'

FateKilled in Action 7 June 1917
Age at death from cemetery records29
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 29), 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: George and Jane Bryce PROUDFOOT; Wife: Isabella PROUDFOOT

Military Medal

'These N.C.O.s [PROUDFOOTand 3848 T.D. LAVY] kept the men together when their Officers were wounded and until reinforcement Officers came up carried on. Their work was excellent throughout the whole period.'
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 62
Date: 19 April 1917

Family/military connectionsBrother: 2661 Pte Robert George Henderson PROUDFOOT, 9th Bn, killed in action, 21 August 1916.
Other details

War service: Egypt, Gallipoli, Western Front

Taken on strength, 9th Bn, Mudros, Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, 19 November 1915, and reverted to Private.

Disembarked, Alexandria, Egypt, 4 January 1916 (general Gallipoli evacuation).

Transferred to 49th Bn, 25 February 1916.

Promoted Corporal, 13 April 1916.

Embarked Alexandria, to join British Expeditionary Force, 5 June 1916; disembarked, Marseilles, France, 12 June 1916.

Wounded in action, 3 September 1916.

Admitted, gun shot wound, right leg, 2nd Canadian Field Ambulance, 6 September 1916; transferred to 13th General Hospital, Boulogne, 7 September 1916; marched in to 4th Australian General Base Depot, Etaples, 8 September 1916.

Awarded Military Medal.

Rejoined unit from wounding, 28 January 1917.

Reported wounded and missing in action, 7 June 1917; subsequently confirmed by Court of Enquiry, 4 December 1917, as killed in action.

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

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