The AIF Project

Charles Thomas WALSH

Regimental number1651
Place of birthDuaringa, Queensland
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationLabourer
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation28
Height6' 0.5"
Weight153 lbs
Next of kinFather, Thomas Walsh, Duaringa, Queensland
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date23 November 1914
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name11th Battalion, 3rd Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/28/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Fremantle, Western Australia, on board HMAT A50 Itonus on 22 February 1915
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll11th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 20 September 1917
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
64
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Thomas and Helena Jane WALSH.
Other details

War service: Egypt, Gallipoli, Western Front

Taken on strength, 11th Bn, Gallipoli, 7 May 1915. Wounded in action, 6 August 1915 (gun shot wound, left hand); admitted to HS 'Delta', 8 August 1915; disembarked Alexandria, 11 August 1915, and admitted same day to 1st Australian General Hospital, Heliopolis; transferred to No. 3 Auxiliary Hospital, 11 August 1915 (shattered fingers); to A. & NZ Convalescent Depot, Helouan, 20 October 1915; discharged to duty, 13 November 1915. Admitted to No. 4 Auxiliary Hospital, Abbassia, 24 February 1916 (mumps); discharged to duty, 6 March 1916. Transferred to 1st Australian General Hospital, 8 March 1916 (finger amputated); to No. 3 Auxiliary Hospital, Heliopolis, 8 March 1916; discharged to duty, 11 March 1916.

Embarked from Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 29 July 1916. Proceeded overseas to France from England, 21 August 1916; joined 11th Bn, 4 September 1916.

Admitted to 1st Australian Field Ambulance, 17 February 1917 (trench feet); to 13th General Hospital, Boulogne, 1 March 1917; transferred to England on HS 'St Denis', 2 March 1917, and admitted to Edmonton Military Hospital, 2 March 1917 (trench feet: severe). Discharged to No. 3 Command Depot, 14 May 1917;marched out to Overseas Tranining Depot, 4 August 1917.

Proceeded overseas to France, 5 September 1917; rejoined unit, 20 September 1917.

Killed in action, Belgium, 20 September 1917.

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

Mother wrote to Base Records, 30 October 1917: 'I am longing to get some information regarding how he died. Can you find out how long he lived after he was shot or if he was killed outright. It would be some relief to me to hear that he was killed outright so that he wouldn't be suffering or wanting some of his loved ones to be near him. If he spoke I would love to know his last words. I am anxious as only a Mother can be.' Base Records replied, 16 November 1917: 'As there is no mention in the cable report of your son being wounded, it is very probable his death was instantaneous.'

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