The AIF Project

William McNab CHAPMAN

Regimental number285
Place of birthGlasgow, Scotland
SchoolCross Arthurlie School, Barrhead, East Renfrewshire, Scotland
Age on arrival in Australia20
ReligionPresbyterian
OccupationLabourer
AddressShamrock Hotel, Geraldton, Western Australia
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation21
Height5' 8.5"
Weight158 lbs
Next of kinMrs Chapman, Arthurlie Street Dairy, Barrhead, Scotland
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date9 September 1914
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll22 August 1914
Place of enlistmentBlackboy Hill, Western Australia
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name11th Battalion, C Company
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/28/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Fremantle, Western Australia, on board HMAT A11 Ascanius on 31 October 1914
Rank from Nominal RollLance Corporal
Unit from Nominal Roll11th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 30 October 1917
Place of death or woundingBelgium
Age at death24
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 17), 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
61
Family/military connectionsBrother: 1727 Pte Joseph CHAPMAN, 11th Bn, killed in action, 3 May 1916.
Other details

War service: Egypt, Gallipoli, Western Front

Embarked from Alexandria to join the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force (Gallipoli), 2 March 1915.

Wounded in action, Gallipoli, 25 April 1915 (gun shot wound, foot); embarked on HS 'Galeka', 28 April 1915; disembarked Alexandria, 2 May 1915; rejoined Bn at Gallipoli, 8 May 1915. Disembarked Alexandria, 6 January 1916 (general Gallipoli evacuation).

Found guilty of overstaying leave, 6.15 pm, 22 January 1916, to 9 pm, 23 January 1916: awarded 7 days Confined to Barracks and forfeiture of 2 days' pay.

Proceeded from Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 29 March 1916; disembarked Marseilles, 5 April 1916.

Admitted to 3rd Field Ambulance, 16 July 1916 (influenza); transferred to 20th General Hospital, Camiers, 22 July 1916; to England, 29 July 1916, and admitted to Rust Hall Voluntary Aid Detachment Hospital, Tonbridge, 30 July 1916. Marched into No. 1 Command Depot, Perham Downs, from furlough, 21 August 1916. Found guilty of being absent without leave, midnight, 2 November 1916, to 7.30 am, 16 November 1916: awarded 14 days' detention and forfeiture of 14 days' pay. Proceeded overseas to France, 4 December 1916; rejoined Bn, 26 December 1916.

Appointed Lance Corporal, 29 September 1917.

Killed in action, Belgium, 30 October 1917.

Medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, CHAPMAN William McNab

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