The AIF Project

William ALLAN

Regimental number11441
Place of birthDurham, England
AddressGPO, Sydney, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation18
Height5' 5"
Weight126 lbs
Next of kinFather, W Allan, Ellison Street, Hepburn, England
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date1 October 1915
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll1 October 1915
Place of enlistmentHolsworthy, New South Wales
Rank on enlistmentGunner
Unit name5th Field Artillery Brigade, Reinforcement 3
AWM Embarkation Roll number13/33/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board RMS Osterley on 15 January 1916
Rank from Nominal RollGunner
Unit from Nominal Roll4th Field Artillery Brigade
FateKilled in Action 9 October 1917
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe 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
Other details

War service: Western Front

Embarked Sydney, 15 January 1916.

Taken on strength, 2nd Divisional Ammunition Column, Zeitoun, 19 February 1916.

Taken on strength, 20th Battery, 5th Field Artillery Brigade, Moascar, 10 March 1916.

Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, France, 19 March 1916; disembarked Marseilles, 25 March 1916.

Transferred to 22nd Field Artillery Brigade, France, 13 May 1916.

Transferred to 12th Battery, 4th Field Artillery Brigade, in the field, 26 January 1917.

Admitted to hospital, in the field, 8 February 1917; rejoined unit from hospital, 8 February 1917.

Killed in action, Belgium, 9 October 1917.

Buried in the vicinity of Ypres.

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, ALLAN William

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