The AIF Project

Raymond Vallack SINGLE

Regimental number286
Place of birthMudgee, New South Wales
SchoolMudgee Grammar School, New South Wales
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationBank clerk
AddressWollar, via Mudgee, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation29
Height5' 8"
Weight128 lbs
Next of kinMother, Mrs Mary Judith Single, Wollar, via Mudgee, New South Wales
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date30 March 1915
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll30 March 1915
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name20th Battalion, A Company
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/37/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A35 Berrima on 25 June 1915
Rank from Nominal RollCaptain
Unit from Nominal Roll56th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 26 September 1917
Place of death or woundingPolygon Wood, Ypres, Belgium
Age at death30
Age at death from cemetery records30
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: Mr H. and Mrs Mary SINGLE, Vandoona, Wollar, New South Wales
Family/military connectionsBrothers: 19359 Corporal Roy Vallack SINGLE MM, 3rd Divisional Ammunition Column, returned to Australia, 10 May 1919; Lt Colonel Clive Vallack SINGLE DSO, Australian Army Medical Corps, returned to Australia, 20 July 1919; Cousins: 4366 Pte Wilfred SINGLE, 29th Bn, killed in action, 26-27 September 1917; [438] Captain Hubert Gordon THOMPSON (1st cousin), killed in action, Polygon Wood, 26 September 1917; 494 Sergeant John Alexander DIGBY, 13th Bn, killed in action, Gallipoli, 3 May 1915; 15557 Bombardier Francis Dudley Maxted DIGBY, 10th Field Artillery Brigade, killed in action, 29 September 1918; Cousin (once removed): 227 Sergeant Alexander Frank FRASER, 9th Bn, killed in action, 2 November 1917.
Other details

War service: Egypt, Gallipoli, Western Front

Embarked to join the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, Gallipoli, 27 August 1915. Commissioned as 2nd Lt, 4th Bn, Gallipoli, 3 September 1915. Disembarked Alexandria from Mudros, 29 December 1915 (general Gallipoli evacuation).

Promoted Lt, 28 January 1916. 1916To School of Instruction, Zeitoun, 6 February 1916. Transferred to 56th Bn, Tel el Kebir, 16 February, and taken on strength from School of Instruction. Seconded for duty with 14th Training Bn, 22 May 1916.

Proceeded from Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 29 July 1916; disembarked Southampton, England, via Marseilles, 9 August 1916. Marched into 14th Training Bn, Larkhill, 9 August 1916. Admitted to Fargo Military Hospital, 14 September 1916 (influenza); discharged, 2 September 1916. Promoted Captain, 25 November 1916. Proceeded overseas to France, 16 March 1917; rejoined 56th Bn, 23 March 1917.

Detached to 5th Army School, 30 March 1917; rejoined Bn, 6 May 1917.

Wounded in action (remained at duty), 23 September 1917.

Killed in action, 26 September 1917.

Major H.L. CAMERON, CO, 56th Bn, stated: 'Grave location of the late Captain R.V. SINGLE is ... approx. 1800 yards East of WESTHOEK. Just prior to our attack on the morning of 26.9.17 against the enemy at POLYGON WOOD, the above Officer whilst issuing final instructions to the men of his Company was shot in the head by a random bullet from the enemy. His death was instantaneous and he was buried at the spot where he met his death by members of his company.' Grave lost in subsequent fighting.

Medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal
Miscellaneous detailsPlace of birth given on Attestation Form as Strathfield, New South Wales.

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