The AIF Project

Willie Edmond CAMPION

Regimental number2051
Place of birthMinlaton, South Australia
SchoolCurramulka Public School, South Australia
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationMason
AddressKenton Cottage, Curramulka, South Australia
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation22
Next of kinMother, Mrs Clara Campion, Curramulka, South Australia
Enlistment date31 December 1914
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name10th Battalion, 5th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/27/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Adelaide, South Australia, on board HMAT A20 Hororata on 20 April 1915
FateKilled in Action 8 October 1917
Place of death or woundingCeltic Wood, Belgium
Age at death25.6
Age at death from cemetery records25
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, 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
58
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Commemorated in Cheltenham Cemetery, South Australia. Mother: Clara CAMPION, Curramulka, South Australia, and the late Joseph Lenton CAMPION.
Family/military connectionsBrother: 1920 Pte Gerald Gordon CAMPION, died of wounds, 10 October 1917; Cousin: 1671a Gunner John CAMPION MM, 10th Field Artillery Brigade, returned to Australia, 24 January 1919.
Other details

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

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