The AIF Project

William Henry Thomas TIJOU

Regimental number1437
Place of birthBrisbane, Queensland
ReligionChurch of England
AddressLivingston Street, North Rockhampton, Queensland
Marital statusMarried
Age at embarkation43
Height5' 5"
Weight132 lbs
Next of kinWife, Mrs L M Tijou, Livingston Street, North Rockhampton, Queensland
Previous military serviceNil (Previously rejected for enlistment on the grounds of being underweight.)
Enlistment date7 December 1914
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name9th Battalion, 2nd Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/26/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Brisbane, Queensland, on board HMAT A48 Seang Bee on 13 February 1915
FateKilled in Action 12 October 1917
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 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.

Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
Other details

War service: Egypt, Gallipoli, Western Front

Joined 9th Bn at Gallipoli, 4 May 1915. To hospital, 30 August 1915 (no details recorded); rejoined unit, 2 September 1915. Disembarked Alexandria ex Mudros, 4 January 1916 (general Gallipoli evacuation). Admitted to 3rd Australian General Hospital, 7 January 1916 (dental); discharged to Overseas Base, Ghezireh, 9 January 1916. Admitted to 4th Australian Hospital, 17 February 1916 (bronchitis); transferred to Base, 4 March 1916. marched into 3rd Training Bn, Tel el Kebir, 8 May 1916.

Embarked from Alexandria, 6 June 1916; disembarked Plymouth, England, 16 June 1916. Found guilty, 4 July 1916, of being absent without leave, 1 am, 27 June, to 10 pm, 3 July 1916: awarded 7 days' detention, and forfeited 14 days' pay. Found guilty, 23 August 1916, of overstaying leave from Reveille, 22 August, to 23 August: awarded 2 days' detention and forfeited 3 days' pay.

Proceeded overseas to France, 2 July 1917; taken on strength, 49th Bn, 19 July 1916. Admitted to 13th Australian Field Ambulance, 19 September 1917 (bronchitis) and transferred to 39th Stationary Hospital; discharged to duty, 6 October 1917.

Wounded in action, 12 October 1917; subsequently reported as missing in action; confirmed as killed in action.

Medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal

No. 2702, J.A. MILES, 52nd Bn [TIJOU's wife's brother], wrote to his sister Rose, 7 November 1917: 'Harry Tijou got wounded lately he is in 49th Battalion but he is now in the hospital at the Base'. Sister, Miss Mary S. TROTMAN, wrote to Base Records, 6 February 1918, quoting from MILES' letter: 'I saw "Harry" (Tijou) a couple of days before he was wounded but haven't received anything about him since, they told me at the 49th that he wasn't badly wounded & they thought he would get all right, he was taken to the Hospital soon after, but I haven't heard anything since.' Base Records replied to Miss TROTMAN, 18 February 1918: 'I have to advise that as the information in the attached communication is hearsay only further enquiries are not deemed warranted.'

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