The AIF Project

Benjamin BRADLEY

Regimental number3015
Place of birthFremantle, Western Australia
SchoolFremantle Boys' School, Western Australia
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationCarpenter's apprentice
AddressEast Fremantle, Western Australia
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation18
Next of kinFather, Benjamin Bradley, Silas Street, East Fremantle, Western Australia
Previous military serviceServed 3 years in the Naval Reserve, Western Australia.
Enlistment date4 October 1916
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll18 September 1916
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name44th Battalion, 7th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/61/3
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Fremantle, Western Australia, on board HMAT A28 Miltiades on 29 January 1917
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll5th Machine Gun Battalion
Other details from Roll of Honour CircularHis body was found by his brother who dug his grave and buried him.
FateKilled in Action 25 September 1917
Place of death or woundingPolygon Wood, Ypres, Belgium
Date of death25 September 1917
Age at death19.6
Age at death from cemetery records19
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 31), 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
177
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Benjamin and Alice BRADLEY, Silas Street, East Fremantle, Western Australia
Family/military connectionsBrother: 2836 Lance Corporal Jack Edward BRADLEY, 12th Bn, returned to Australia, 15 February 1918.
Other details

War service: Western Front

Embarked from Fremantle, 29 January 1917; disembarked Devonport, 27 March 1917. Admitted to Fargo Military Hospital, 7 May 1917 (influenza); discharged to Depot, 15 May 1917.

Transferred to Machine Gun Details, Grantham, 16 June 1917; taken on strength, 25th Machine Gun Company, 16 August 1917.

Proceeded overseas to France, 7 September 1917.

Killed in action, 25 September 1917. OC, 25th Machine Gun Company, advised that 'Pte Bradley was one of a carrying party who were carrying ammunition to the Gun Positions, on the afternoon of 25.9.17, when he received a direct hit from an enemy shell. He died on the spot a few minutes later. It cannot be ascertained who buried him, but it is known that he was buried.'

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal

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