The AIF Project

James Arthur Pearson WHITE

Regimental number3330
Place of birthPrahran, Victoria
SchoolGoodwood Public School, South Australia
ReligionChurch of England
Address141 Margaret Street, North Adelaide, South Australia
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation23
Height5' 5"
Weight152 lbs
Next of kinMother, Mrs Lydia Ann White, 141 Margaret Street, North Adelaide, South Australia
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date3 August 1915
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name27th Battalion, 7th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/44/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Adelaide, South Australia, on board HMAT A7 Medic on 12 January 1916
Regimental number from Nominal RollR3353
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll43rd Battalion
FateKilled in Action 10 October 1917
Age at death from cemetery records24
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 27), 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
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Benjamin and Lydia Ann WHITE
Family/military connectionsCousin: [385] 2nd Lt Ernest Albert PEARSON MM, Australian Flying Corps Depot, returned to Australia, 3 May 1919.
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Proceeded from Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force,21 March 1916; disembarked Marseilles, 27 March 1916. Admitted to 26th General Hospital, Etaples, 30 March 1916 (injured right knee: fractured right patilla); transferred to England, 14 May 1916; embarked from Plymouth for Australia on HT 'Euripides', 24 June 1916.

Re-embarked from Adelaide, 16 December 1916 as R3533, Pte, 43rd Bn, 6th Reinforcement, on board HMAT A35 'Berrima'; disembarked Devonport, England, 16 February 1917. Married Elsie WALKLETT at Registrar's Office, Cardiff St, Oxford, 12 May 1917.

Proceeded overseas to France, 8 September 1917; taken on strength, 43rd Bn, 20 September 1917.

Killed in action, Belgium, 10 October 1917. Buried by Chaplain W.A. Moore; grave lost in subsequent fighting.

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal

Notwithstanding the registration of his marriage, his War Gratuity file recorded that three-fourths of his Gratuity was paid to the Commissioner of Pensions in England in trust for his daughter, Miss Dinina WHITE, of 5 Bath Place, Holywell Street, Oxford; also that the late soldier's 'unmarried wife' was Elsie WALKLETT of the same address. The sole beneficiary under the deceased's will was 'my daughter, Dinina WHITE'. Base Records therefore decided, 27 June 1923, that the Victory Medal and Memorial Scroll should go to the daughter, and the British War Medal, Memorial Plaque, and 'Where the Australians Rest' brochure to his mother.

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