The AIF Project

William Hamlet STEELE

Regimental number4889
Place of birthBallarat Victoria
ReligionRoman Catholic
OccupationTailor
Address1006 Dana Street, Ballarat, Victoria
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation24
Next of kinMother, Mrs C. Steele, 1006 Dana Street, Ballarat, Victoria
Enlistment date6 July 1915
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name8th Battalion, 15th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/25/5
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A18 Wiltshire on 7 March 1916
Rank from Nominal RollCorporal
Unit from Nominal Roll8th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 4 October 1917
Age at death from cemetery records26
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
54
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Hamlet and Clara STEELE, 7 Dorcas Street, South Melbourne, Victoria. Native of Ballarat, Victoria
Other details

War service: Western Front

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
Miscellaneous detailsSurname entered incorrectly on AWM Embarkation Roll search engine as STEELS.

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