The AIF Project

John WHITTAKER

Regimental number3956
Place of birthHobart, Tasmania
ReligionMethodist
OccupationBoundary rider
AddressGeraldton, Western Australia
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation42
Next of kinSister, Mrs Ada May W Whitmore, 'Medic', King Street, Rockdale, Sydney, New South Wales
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date23 October 1915
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name28th Battalion, 9th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/45/3
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Fremantle, Western Australia, on board HMAT A28 Miltiades on 12 February 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll51st Battalion
FateKilled in Action 18 June 1919
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
154
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Joined 51st Bn, 2 April 1916; transferred to 13th Bn, 14 May 1916.

Proceeded from Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 7 June 1916; disembarked Marseilles, 14 June 1916. Admitted to 13th Australian Field Ambulance, 29 July 1916 (influenza); transferred to 1st Field Ambulance, 4 August 1916; discharged to duty, 7 August 1916; rejoined Bn, 7 August 1916.

Wounded in action, 14-16 August 1916 (gun shot wound, head); admitted to 3rd Casualty Clearing Station, 15 August 1916; to 11th Stationary Hospital, Rouen, 17 August 1916; to England, 18 August 1916, and admitted to 3rd London General Hospital, Wandsworth, 19 August 1916; to Woodcote Park Convalescent hospital, 21 September 1916; to No. 1 Command Depot, Perham Downs, 3 October 1916. Granted furlough, 4 October 1916; Proceeded overseas to France, 24 January 1917; rejoined unit, 7 February 1917.

Killed in action, Belgium, 10 June 1917.

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal

Miscellaneous detailsHeight recorded on Attestation Form as 10'10". Weight not recorded.

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