The AIF Project

Thomas RICHINGS

Regimental number1537
Place of birthNewtown, Sydney, New South Wales
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationFarmer
Address'Rainham', Watkins Street, Rockdale, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation25
Height5' 5"
Weight140 lbs
Next of kinSister, Mrs S Withers, Watkins Street, Rockdale, New South Wales
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date12 April 1915
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name20th Battalion, 1st Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/37/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A35 Berrima on 6 June 1915
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll20th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 9 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
92
Other details

War service: Egypt, Gallipoli, Western Front

Proceeded to join the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, Gallipoli, 3 August 1915. Wounded in action, 30 August 1915 (shell splinters, thigh); admitted to 1st Australian Casualty Clearing Station, 30 August 1915; transferred to Mudros, thence to 1st Australian Stationary Hospital, Lemnos, 1 September 1915. Embarked for England on board HS 'Aquitania', 18 September 1915; admitted to 5th Southern General Hospital, Portsmouth, 26 September 1915. Taken on strength Monte Video Camp, Weymouth, 3 February 1916. Admitted to General Hospital, Portland, 17 February 1916; discharged, 24 February 1916; total period of treatment for venereal disease: 3 days. Proceeded overseas to France, and rejoined 20th Bn, 2 July 1916.

Admitted to 4th Australian Field Ambulance, 7 August 1916 (cellulitis); to 10th General Hospital, Rouen, 10 August 1916; to 12th General Hospital, Rouen, 10 August 1916; to 18th General Hospital, Camiers, 12 August 1916; discharged to Base Details, 1 October 1916; rejoined Bn, 31 October 1916.

Admitted to 5th Australian Field Ambulance, 10 November 1916 (rheumatism); transferred to 36th Casualty Clearing Station, 11 November 1916 (myalgia and trench feet); to 1st General Hospital, Etretat, 11 November 1916. Embarked for England, 7 December 1916; admitted to 1st London General Hospital, 8 December 1916 (myalgia). Discharged from hospital, 12 March 1917, on furlough. Marched in to No. 1 Command Depot, Perham Downs, 28 March 1917. Admitted to 1st Australian Dermatological Hospital, Bulford, 31 March 1917; discharged, 11 May 1917; total period of treatment for venereal disease: 42 days. Proceeded overseas to France, 27 May 1917; rejoined 20th Bn, 19 June 1917.

Appointed Lance Corporal, 20 September 1917.

Wounded in action, Belgium, 9 October 1917; fate confirmed as killed in action, 9 October 1917.

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

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