The AIF Project

Victor Gerard PYKE

Regimental number3240
Place of birthFremantle, Western Australia
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationHarnessmaker
AddressLangham Road, Claremont, Western Australia
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation19
Next of kinFather, George Henry Pyke, Langham Road, Claremont, Western Australia
Previous military serviceServed in the 86th Infantry, Citizen Military Forces, Fremantle; still serving at time of AIF enlistment.
Enlistment date4 August 1915
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll2 August 1915
Place of enlistmentEast Claremont, Western Australia
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 4 October 1917
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
Commemorated in Fremantle Cemetery, Western Australia. Parents: George Henry (d. 25 February 1945, aged 81) and Minnie (d. 17 March 1911, aged 46) PYKE (both Bu. Fremantle Cemetery)
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Disembarked Alexandria, Egypt, 16 February 1916.

Proceeded from Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 21 March 1916; disembarked Marseilles, France, 27 March 1916. Taken on strength, 28th Bn, 16 June 1916.

Wounded in action, 29 July 1916 (shell wound, knee). Admitted to No 3 Canadian General Hospital, Boulogne, 30 July 1916; transferred to No. 7 Convalescent Depot, 8 August 1916; to No. 3 Rest Camp, 21 September 1916. Rejoined Bn, 30 October 1916.

Wounded in action, 3-6 November 1916 (shell shock); admitted to 6th General Hospital, Rouen, 8 November 1916; transferred to Convalescent Depot, 11 November 1916; to No 2 Australian General Base Depot, Etaples, 15 November 1917; rejoined Bn, 19 February 1917.

Detached to 5th Army as batman, 30 March 1917; rejoined Bn, 6 May 1917. On leave to England, 2 September 1917; rejoined Bn, 15 September 1917.

Missing in action, Belgium, 4 October 1917; Court of Enquiry, 19 November 1917, determined fate as 'killed in action'.

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
Miscellaneous detailsName recorded incorrectly on Embarkation Roll as Victor Gerald PYKE.

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