The AIF Project

Rupert William BURGESS

Regimental number1635
Place of birthCarlow, Ireland
Age on arrival in Australia16.6
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationLabourer
AddressKillarney, Queensland
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation20
Height5' 5.5"
Weight130.75 lbs
Next of kinMother, Mrs Lucy Burgess, Tobinstown, Co Carlow, Ireland
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date10 January 1916
Place of enlistmentWarwick, Queensland
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name47th Battalion, 2nd Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/64/3
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board SS Hawkes Bay on 20 April 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll47th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 7 June 1917
Place of death or woundingMessines, Belgium
Age at death21.11
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
145
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Embarked Alexandria, Egypt, 6 June 1916; disembarked Plymouth, England, 16 June 1916.

Proceeded overseas to France, 25 July 1916; taken on strength, 47th Bn, 18 August 1916.

Admitted to 2/1 South Midlands Casualty Clearing Station, 4 September 1916 (mumps); discharged, 26 September 1916; rejoined unit, 27 September 1916.

Missing in action, Belgium, 7 June 1917. Court of Enquiry, 24 November 1917, determined fate as killed in action, 7 June 1917.

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, BURGESS Rupert William

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