The AIF Project

Charles CLAYTON

Regimental number157
Place of birthGeeveston, Tasmania
SchoolState School, Tasmania
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationLabourer
AddressDover, Tasmania
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation21
Height5' 8"
Weight160 lbs
Next of kinFather, Joseph Clayton, Dover, Tasmania
Previous military serviceNil ('evaded')
Enlistment date2 March 1916
Place of enlistmentClaremont, Tasmania
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name40th Battalion, A Company
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/57/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Hobart, Tasmania, on board HMAT A35 Berrima on 1 July 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll40th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 27 June 1917
Place of death or woundingMessines, Belgium
Age at death23
Age at death from cemetery records22
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 25), 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
132
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Joseph and Catherine CLAYTON, Port Esperance, Tasmania
Family/military connectionsUncle: 619 Pte Frederick George CLAYTON, 40th Bn, returned to Australia, 30 April 1919.
Other details

War service: Western Front

Embarked Hobart, 1 July 1916; disembarked Devonport, England, 22 August 1916.

Admitted to Fargo Hospital, 2 September 1916 (ottorrhoea); transferred to 1st Australian Dermatological Hospital, Bulford, 25 January 1917; discharged to duty, 13 February 1917; total period of treatment for venereal disease: 87 days.

Marched in to 10th Training Bn, 13 February 1917.

Admitted to Fargo Military Hospital, 17 February 1917 (pyrexia, unknown origin); discharged to duty, 26 February 1917.

Admitted to 1st Australian Dermatological Hospital, Bulford, 10 March 1917; discharged to duty, 30 March 1917; total period of treatment for venereal disease: 21 days.

Proceeded overseas to France, 3 May 1917; rejoined 40th Bn, 8 May 1917.

Killed in action, 7 June 1917.

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, CLAYTON Charles

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