The AIF Project

William Ernest SHAW

Regimental number665
Place of birthMackay, Queensland
SchoolState School, Mackay, Queensland
ReligionProtestant
OccupationLabourer
AddressFoulden, Mackay, Queensland
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation24
Height5' 8"
Weight150 lbs
Next of kinFather, Charles Shaw, Foulden, Mackay, Queensland
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date29 August 1914
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name9th Battalion, F Company
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/26/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Brisbane, Queensland, on board Transport A5 Omrah on 24 September 1914
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll26th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 5 October 1917
Place of death or woundingPasschendaele, Ypres, Belgium
Age at death28.4
Age at death from cemetery records28
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
109
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Charles and Hannah SHAW, Marlow Cottage. North Side, Mackay, Queensland
Other details

War service: Egypt, Gallipoli, Western Front

Proceeded from Alexandria to join the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, 2 March 1915.

Wounded in action, Gallipoli, 25 April 1915 (gun shot wound, right leg); transferred to Tigni Hospital, Malta, 4 May 1915; to Cottermero Hospital, Malta, 16 May 1915. Awarded 7 days' Field Punishment No. 2 and fined 2 days' pay, 30 May 1915 (offence not recorded). Rejoined unit, Gaba Tepe, Gallipoli, 17 June 1915. Admitted to 2nd Light Horse Field Ambulance, 15 November 1915 (pyrexia); rejoined unit, 23 November 1915. Disembarked Alexandria, 4 January 1916 (general Gallipoli evacuation).

Found guilty, 15 January 1916, of being absent without leave, 8 pm, 3 January, to 15 January 1916: forfeits 13 days' pay.

Attached to 3rd Field Ambulance, 2 Febraury 1916 (for Sanitary duties). Admitted to 1st Field Ambulance, 6 March 1916 (hernia); transferred to 1st Australian Stationary Hospital, Ismailia, 7 March 1916; to 3rd Australian General Hospital, 9 March 1916; to 1st Auxiliary Hospital, Heliopolis, 31 March 1916. Embarked for Australia from Suez on board HS 'Itonus', 10 June 1916.

Re-embarked from Australia in 26th Bn, 18th Reinforcement, from Sydney on board HMAT 'Demosthenes', 22 December 1916; disembarked Plymouth, England, 3 March 1917. Proceeded overseas to France, 19 June 1916; taken on strength, 26th Bn, 9 July 1916.

Killed in action, 5 October 1917.

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

Print format