The AIF Project

Edward James QUIRKE

Regimental number475
Place of birthFootscray, Victoria
ReligionRoman Catholic
Address44 Windsor Street, Footscray, Victoria
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation21
Next of kinFather, Michael Quirke, 44 Windsor Street, Footscray, Victoria
Previous military service65th Infantry; Served in the Senior Cadets for 4 years; in the Citizen Military Forces for 2 months (still serving at time of AIF enlistment).
Enlistment date4 September 1916
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll25 September 1916
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit nameMachine Gun Company 6, Reinforcement 7
AWM Embarkation Roll number24/11/3
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A38 Ulysses on 25 October 1916
Regimental number from Nominal Roll475C
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll21st Machine Gun Company
FateKilled in Action 20 September 1917
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 31), 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
Other details

War service: Western Front

Embarked from Melbourne, 25 October 1916; disembarked Plymouth, England, 28 December 1916.

Proceeded overseas to France, 10 March 1917.

Taken on strength, 21st Machine Gun Company from 6th Machine Gun Company, 28 April 1917.

Killed in action, Belgium, 20 September 1917. Buried in Belgian Battery Cemetery, 1 mile South West of Ypres.

Base Records wrote, 30 June 1922, to clarify a photograph purporting to be of the grave: 'It was later ascertained [by the Imperial War Graves Commission that the regimental particulars of these soldiers [buried in the cemetery] (including those of your son) were first inscribed on a collective memorial erected in the abovenamed cemetery, and when subsequently it was found necessary to replace this, by some unfortunate mischance, individual crosses erected in such manner as to imply actual graves were substituted in place Q hence the erroneous reports of burial originating.'

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal

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