The AIF Project

Robert Joseph SHEUMACK

Regimental number4963
Place of birthBinnaway, New South Wales
Place of birthCoonabarabran, New South Wales
SchoolBinnaway Public School, New South Wales
ReligionChurch of England
AddressCoonabarabran, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation22
Height5' 6.75"
Weight130 lbs
Next of kinFather, Mr G Sheumack, Coonabarabran, New South Wales
Enlistment date29 October 1915
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll28 October 1915
Place of enlistmentNarrabri, New South Wales
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name4th Battalion, 15th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/21/4
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A15 Star Of England on 8 March 1916
Rank from Nominal RollLance Corporal
Unit from Nominal Roll56th Battalion
Other details from Roll of Honour CircularIn full charge of a machine gun crew when killed.
FateKilled in Action 18 October 1917
Place of death or woundingPolygon Wood, Belgium
Date of death18 October 1917
Age at death24.3
Age at death from cemetery records24
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: George and Mary SHEUMACK, Cowper Street, Coonabarabran, New South Wales
Family/military connectionsCousin: Sergeant [Durvey/Deervey] M.M., D.C.M.
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Taken on strength, 56th Bn, Ferry Post, 20 April 1916.

Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 19 June 1916; disembarked Marseilles, 29 June 1916.

Wounded in action, 20 July 1916 (gun shot wound, head), and admitted to 8th Field Ambulance; transferred by Ambulance Train and admitted to 25th General Hospital, 21 July 1916; to England, 27 July 1916, and admitted to Huddersfield War Hospital, 12 August 1916; to Australian Auxiliary Hospital, 12 August 1916; to No 1 command Depot, 25 August 1916. Proceeded overseas to France, 9 September 1916; rejoined unit, 26 September 1916.

Detached to Lewis Gun School of Instruction, 23 November 1916; rejoined unit, 5 December 1916. To Lewis Gun School of Instruction, 28 February 1917; rejoined unit, 18 March 1917.

Appointed Lance Corporal, 31 May 1917.

On leave, 11 September 1917; rejoined unit from leave, 28 September 1917.

Killed in action, 18 October 1917.

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal

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