The AIF Project

Herbert Walter John RHEAD

Date of birth28 February 1891
Place of birthRockhampton, Queensland
OccupationSchool teacher
AddressMcDonald Street, Rockhampton, Queensland
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation23
Next of kinMother, Alice Mary Rhead, McDonald Street, Rockhampton, Queensland
Enlistment date16 February 1915
Rank on enlistment2nd Lieutenant
Unit name9th Battalion, 5th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/26/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Brisbane, Queensland, on board HMAT A55 Kyarra on 16 April 1915
Rank from Nominal RollCaptain
Unit from Nominal Roll49th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 7 June 1917
Age at death from cemetery records26
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: Walter and Alice RHEAD, Brickwell Street, Rockhampton, Queensland. Native of Rockhampton, Queensland
Family/military connectionsBrother: 20596 Sapper Francis Gerald RHEAD, Wireless Section, returned to Australia, 22 March 1919.
Other details

War service: Egypt, Gallipoli, Western Front

Joined unit at Gallipoli, 22 June 1915. Appointed Lt, 5 October 1915. Admitted to 3rd Australian General Hospital, Lemnos, 6 December 1915 (diarrhoea and jaundice). Transferred to Malta, 26 December 1915; rejoined unit, Serapeum, Egypt, 23 January 1916. Transferred to 49th Bn, 27 February 1916; taken on strength, 23 March 1916.

Proceeded from Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 5 June 1916; disembarked, Marseilles, 12 June 1916.

Wounded in action, 3 September 1916 (gun shot wound, buttock and thigh); admitted to 8th General Hospital, Rouen, 4 September 1916 (multiple gun shot wounds); placed on Supernumerary List, 18 October 1916; reported 'seriously ill', 12 November 1916. Transferred to England, 30 December 1916; admitted to 3rd London General Hospital, Wandsworth, 2 January 1917; discharged to No. 1 Command Depot, Perham Downs, 27 March 1917. Proceeded overseas to France, 25 April 1917; rejoined unit, 1 May 1917.

Killed in action, Belgium, 7 June 1917.

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

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