The AIF Project

William Cyril SIMPSON

Regimental number5418
Date of birth3 September 1892
Place of birthPuckapunyal, Victoria
SchoolPuckapunyal State School, Victoria
ReligionRoman Catholic
OccupationLabourer
AddressYea, Victoria
Marital statusMarried
Age at embarkation23
Next of kinWife, Mrs L M Simpson, Homewood PO, Homewood, Yea, Victoria
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date15 February 1916
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll15 February 1916
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name24th Battalion, 14th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/41/4
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A28 Miltiades on 1 August 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll24th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 4 October 1917
Place of death or woundingPasschendaele, Ypres, Belgium
Date of death4 October 1917
Age at death26
Age at death from cemetery records25
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
103
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: John Thomas and Margaret SIMPSON; husband of Lily SIMPSON, Homewood, Victoria
Family/military connectionsBrother-in-law: 2568 Sergeant Major Thomas JOHNSON MM, Croix de Guerre, 12th Field Artillery Brigade, returned to Australia, 23 June 1918.
Other details

War service: Western Front

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal

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