The AIF Project

William Herbert BREALEY

Regimental number4740
Place of birthNaracoorte, South Australia
SchoolNaracoorte Public School, South Australia
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationLabourer
AddressNaracoorte, South Australia
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation30
Next of kinMother, Mrs E Brealey, Naracoorte, South Australia
Enlistment date3 November 1915
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name10th Battalion, 15th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/27/4
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Adelaide, South Australia, on board RMS Mongolia on 9 March 1916
Rank from Nominal RollCorporal
Unit from Nominal Roll50th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 19 October 1917
Age at death32
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
150
Family/military connectionsBrothers: 1996 Driver Charles David BREALEY, 4th Divisional Ammunition Column, returned to Australia, 20 December 1917; 2103 Pte Francis Henry BREALEY, 12th Bn, killed in action, Ypres, Belgium, 7 October 1917; 4261 Pte Stanley Thomas BREALEY, 32nd Bn, killed in action, France, 30 August 1918.~
Other details

War service: Western Front

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal

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