The AIF Project

William COLE

Regimental number466
Place of birthCarisbrook, Victoria
ReligionChurch of England
Addressc/o T Williams, Francis Street, Clarence Park, South Australia
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation26
Next of kinFather, H N Cole, Maryborough, Victoria
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date24 August 1914
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name10th Battalion, B Company
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/27/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Adelaide, South Australia, on board Transport A11 Ascanius on 20 October 1914
Rank from Nominal RollSergeant
Unit from Nominal Roll10th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 8 October 1917
Place of death or woundingFlanders
Age at death29
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
Other details

War service: Egypt, Gallipoli, Western Front

Embarked from Alexandria to join the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, Gallipoli, 2 March 1915. Appointed Lance Corporal, 25 July 1915; Temporary Corporal, 11 October 1915; reverted to Lance Corporal, 7 December 1915; Corporal, 7 December 1915. Disembarked Alexandria, 29 December 1915 (general Gallipoli evacuation).

Admitted to 2nd field Ambulance, 5 February 1916; transferred to 1st Australian Dermatological Hospital, Abbassia, 7 February 1916; discharged to Overseas Base, Cairo, 29 March 1916; total period of treatment for venereal disease: 54 days.

Proceeded from Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 8 May 1916; disembarked Marseilles, 16 May 1916. Promoted Temporary Sergeant, 15 August 1916.

Wounded in action, 23 August 1916 (gun shot wound, left foot), and reverted to Corporal. Admitted to 1st Canadian General Hospital, Etaples, 24 August 1916; transferred to England, 26 August 1916, and admitted to Norfolk War Hospital, 27 August 1916. Transferred to Woodcote Convalescent Hospital, 19 September 1916. Proceeded overseas to France, 19 November 1916; rejoined unit, 6 December 1916. Promoted Temporary Sergeant, 28 December 1916; reverted to Corporal, 25 February 1917.

Wounded in action,25 February 1917 (shell wound, right hand); transferred to Divisional Rest Station, 26 February 1917; rejoined unit, 13 March 1917. Appointed Temporary Sergeant, 13 March 1917; Sergeant, 20 May 1917.

Killed in action, Belgium, 8 October 1917.

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

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