The AIF Project

Percival SPERLING

Regimental number7087
Place of birthEchuca, Victoria
SchoolAltcar School
ReligionPresbyterian
OccupationLabourer
AddressTongala, Victoria
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation22
Next of kinFather, F Sperling, Tongala, Victoria
Enlistment date25 October 1916
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll27 October 1916
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name14th Battalion, 23rd Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/31/4
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A7 Medic on 16 December 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll14th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 22 October 1917
Age at death30
Age at death from cemetery records30
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 17), 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
74
Family/military connectionsBrother: 5913 Pte Frederick Henry SPERLING, 22nd Bn, returned to Australia, 7 July 1919.
Other details

War service: Western Front

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal

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