|Place of birth||Catrine, Ayrshire, Scotland|
|School||National School, Scotland|
|Age on arrival in Australia||20|
|Address||Lower Booval, Queensland|
|Age at embarkation||22|
|Next of kin||Father, James Skillen, Grassbank Estate, Lower Booval, Queensland|
|Previous military service||Nil|
|Rank on enlistment||Sapper|
|Unit name||Mining Corps 1, Company 1|
|Embarkation details||Unit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A38 Ulysses on
|Rank from Nominal Roll||Sapper|
|Unit from Nominal Roll||1st Tunnelling Company|
|Fate||Killed in Action
|Place of death or wounding||Polygon Wood, Belgium|
|Age at death||24|
|Age at death from cemetery records||24|
|Place of burial||No known grave|
|Commemoration details||The Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 7), 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|
|Parents: James and Isabella SKILLEN. Native of Catrine, Ayrshire, Scotland|
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 189
|Family/military connections||Brothers: 293 Driver Andrew SKILLEN, 4th Machine Gun Bn, returned to Australia, 23 July 1919; 294 Pte John SKILLEN, 4th Machine Gun Bn, effective abroad (still overseas); 275 Corporal William SKILLEN, 1st Tunnelling Company, returned to Australia, 6 September 1919.|
War service: Western FrontMedals: British War Medal, Victory Medal