The AIF Project

Leslie Norman WILLIAMS

Regimental number729
Place of birthMelbourne, Victoria
ReligionMethodist
OccupationHorticulturist
AddressHicklehorne PO, Hicklehorne, Victoria
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation19
Height5' 7.75"
Weight161 lbs
Next of kinFather, John Williams, Hicklehorne PO, Victoria
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date19 August 1914
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name8th Battalion, F Company
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/25/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board Transport A24 Benalla on 19 October 1914
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll8th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 20 September 1917
Age at death from cemetery records22
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 7), 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
54
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: John and Lilias C. WILLIAMS
Family/military connectionsBrothers: 2697 Pte William WILLIAMS, 6th Bn, died of wounds, 24 July 1916; 286 Pte John Thomas WILLIAMS, 3rd ALRFC, returned to Australia, 19 April 1919; 514 Pte Albert James WILLIAMS, 8th Light Horse Regiment, returned to Australia, 2 January 1919.
Other details

War service: Egypt, Gallipoli, Western Front

Embarked from Alexandria to join the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, Gallipoli, 5 April 1915. Admitted to No. 2 Field Ambulance, 26 August 1915 (febrile and septic hand); transferred to HC 'Ionian', 29 August 1915; to hospital, Malta, 1 September 1915; to All Saints Convalescent Camp, 9 September 1915 (diarrhoea); embarked for Mudros (fit for active service), 15 November 1915; admitted to Australian Overseas Base, Ghezireh, Egypt, 4 January 1916; rejoined Bn, Tel el Kebir, 7 January 1916.

Admitted to 1st Australian Casualty Clearing Station, Serapeum, 4 February 1916 (mumps); transferred to No. 1 Australian General Hospital, Heliopolis; to 4th Auxiliary Hospital, Abbassia, 5 February 1916; discharged to duty, 25 February 1916; rejoined Bn, 11 March 1916.

Proceeded from Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 26 March 1916; disembarked Marseilles, 31 March 1916.

Wounded in action, France, 26 July 1916 (gun shot wound, right wrist and thigh), and admitted to 6th General Hospital, Rouen; transferred to England, 31 July 1916, and admitted to 1st Southern General Hospital, Edgbaston, Birmingham, 1 August 1916 (wound: severe); transferred to Woodcote Park Convalescent Hospital, Epsom, 1 September 1916; to No. 1 Command Depot, Perham Downs (no date recorded); on furlough, 18 October 1916; returned from furlough, 2 November 1916.

Proceeded overseas to France,3 June 1917; rejoined unit, 23 June 1917. Appointed Lance Corporal, 31 August 1917.

Killed in action, 20 September 1917.

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

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