The AIF Project

John Gillingham St Ledger LAUGHTON

Regimental number6631
ReligionPresbyterian
OccupationDraper
AddressMalvern, Victoria
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation22
Next of kinFriend, Miss I Ambler, Ambleside Finch Street, East Caulfield, Victoria
Enlistment date30 September 1916
Place of enlistmentMalvern, Victoria
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name17th Battalion, 19th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/34/4
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A18 Wiltshire on 7 February 1917
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll17th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 6 November 1917
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel No 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.

Miscellaneous detailsTrue name: Alfred John LAUGHTON

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