The AIF Project

Albert Henry COOPER

Regimental number42
Place of birthHillgrove, New South Wales
SchoolHowell Public School, New South Wales
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationLabourer
AddressKearsley via West Maitland, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation19
Next of kinMother, Mrs Sophia Cooper, Howell via Inverell, New South Wales
Previous military serviceServed for 1 year in the 13th Infantry Regiment, Citizen Military Forces; still serving at time of AIF enlistment.
Enlistment date13 November 1915
Place of enlistmentWest Maitland, New South Wales
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name35th Battalion, A Company
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/52/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A24 Benalla on 1 May 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll35th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 7 June 1917
Place of death or woundingMessines, Belgium
Age at death22.10
Age at death from cemetery records20
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
125
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: George and Sophia COOPER, Howell, New South Wales. Native of Hillgrove, New South Wales
Other details

War service: Western Front

Embarked from Sydney, 1 May 1916; disembarked Plymouth, England, 2 July 1916. Admitted to VD Hospital, Bulford, 22 July 1916; rejoined unit, 5 October 1916. Admitted to Hospital, Parkhouse, 16 November 1916; rejoined 9th Training Bn, 19 December 1916; total period of treatment for venereal disease: 26 days.

Proceeded overseas to France, 16 January 1917; rejoined 35th Bn, 20 January 1917.

Killed in action, 7 June 1917. Buried 'a few yards N. of La Hutte, 1 mile S. of Messines.'

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal

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