The AIF Project

William Roland ALLEN

Regimental number2860
Place of birthNarrabri, New South Wales
AddressBexley, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation33
Height5' 8"
Weight141 lbs
Next of kinMother, Mrs Catherine Allen, Stoney Creek Road, Bexley, New South Wales
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date10 July 1916
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll6 July 1916
Place of enlistmentSydney, New South Wales
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name45th Battalion, 7th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/62/3
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board SS Port Nicholson on 8 November 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll45th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 27 September 1917
Place of death or woundingFlanders
Age at death34
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
Other details

War service: Western Front

Embarked Sydney, 8 November 1916; disembarked Devonport, England, 10 January 1917.

Admitted Military Hospital (sick), Devonport, 10 January 1917; discharged, Devonport, 15 January 1917.

Marched in, 12th Training Bn, Codford, 19 January 1917.

Admitted, 1st Military District Hospital (venereal disease), Bulford, 12 February 1917; discharged, Bulford, 11 May 1917: total period of treatment 89 days.

Marched in, 12th Training Bn, Codford, 11 May 1917.

Embarked Southampton to join the British Expeditionary Force, France, 14 June 1917; marched in, 4th Australian Divisional Base Depot, Havre, 15 June 1917.

Taken on strength, 45th Bn, in the field, 4 July 1917.

Killed in action, in the field, 27 September 1917.

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, ALLEN William Roland

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