The AIF Project

Thomas Lloyd RYAN

Regimental number2204
Place of birthEmmaville New South Wales
ReligionRoman Catholic
OccupationTelephone contractor
AddressWelling Grove, Glen Innes, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation23
Next of kinFather, T Ryan, Welling Grove, Glen Innes, New South Wales
Enlistment date4 July 1915
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name17th Battalion, 4th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/34/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A8 Argyllshire on 30 September 1915
Regimental number from Nominal RollCommissioned
Rank from Nominal Roll2nd Lieutenant
Unit from Nominal Roll17th Battalion
Recommendations (Medals and Awards)

Military Medal

'Work on 2 March 1917.'
Recommendation date: 5 March 1917

FateKilled in Action 20 September 1917
Age at death from cemetery records25
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 17), 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: Timothy and Sarah RYAN, Farley, Wellingrove, New South Wales. Native of Strathbogie, Emmaville, Victoria

Military Medal

'For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty on 2nd March, 1917. Took over from Sergeant PEARSON when wounded and reorganised the bomb throwers. He threw bombs continuously for over two hours. By his coolness, courage and daring he kept the enemy in check. This was done after a nights heavy work consolidating strong points which had been gained.'
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 140
Date: 27 August 1917

Family/military connectionsBrothers: [2680] 2nd Lt Charles Francis RYAN, 45th Bn, killed in action, 7 June 1917; 3934 Pte Timothy Gross RYAN, 20th Bn, returned to Australia, 12 December 1918.
Other detailsMedals: Military Medal, 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal

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