The AIF Project

Bertie Rowland CLARKE

Regimental number2345
Place of birthBoggabri, New South Wales
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationLabourer
AddressDalton Street, Boggabri, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation21
Height5' 6.75"
Weight138 lbs
Next of kinFather, H J Clarke, Dalton Street, Boggabri, New South Wales
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date3 August 1915
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll3 August 1915
Place of enlistmentNarrabri, New South Wales
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name18th Battalion, 5th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/35/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A32 Themistocles on 5 October 1915
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll18th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 20 September 1917
Place of death or woundingMenin Road, Ypres, Belgium
Age at death23
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 23), 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
85
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Taken on strength of 18th Bn, and posted to 'B' Company, Tel el Kebir, 10 January 1916.

Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 18 March 1916; disembarked Marseilles, France, 25 March 1916.

Admitted to 7th Australian Field Ambulance, 25 April 1916 (scabies); transferred to No 1 Casualty Clearing Station, 26 April 1916; to British Isolation Hospital, 26 April 1916; to 50th Northumbrian Casualty Clearing Station, 27 April 1916; discharged to duty, 8 May 1916; rejoined Bn, 8 May 1916.

Took part in raid on enemy's trenches on night of 26-27 June 1916.

Wounded in action, France, 28 July 1916 (shrapnel wound, neck); admitted to 1st Anzac Rest Station, 29 July 1916; transferred to South Midland Casualty Clearing Station, 29 July 1916; to Ambulance Train No 20, 30 July 1916; admitted to 6th General Hospital, Rouen, 31 July 1916; discharged to Infantry Base Depot, 2 August 1916; rejoined Bn, 16 August 1916.

Admitted to 6th Australian Field Ambulance, 29 October 1916 (septic sores), and transferred same day to Divisional Rest Station; rejoined Bn, 6 November 1916.

Killed in action, Belgium, 20 September 1917.

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

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