The AIF Project

James Clements SKINNER

Regimental number2420
Place of birthSalford, Manchester, England
SchoolState Board School, England
Age on arrival in Australia18
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationSalesman
AddressGeraldton, Western Australia
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation23
Next of kinMother, Mrs Annie Skinner, 34 First Avenue, Mount Lawley, Western Australia
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date16 June 1916
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name44th Battalion, 4th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/61/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Fremantle, Western Australia, on board HMAT A39 Port Macquarie on 13 October 1916
Rank from Nominal RollLance Corporal
Unit from Nominal Roll44th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 12 October 1917
Place of death or woundingPasschendaele, Ypres, Belgium
Age at death25
Age at death from cemetery records25
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 27), 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
138
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: William and Annie SKINNER, 49 Raglan Road, Mount Lawley, Western Australia. Native of Salford, Manchester, England
Family/military connectionsBrother: 2929 Pte John SKINNER, 48th Bn, returned to Australia, 5 July 1916 (d. 19 October 1920).
Other details

War service: Western Front

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal

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