The AIF Project

Samuel Richard CROOK

Regimental number11881
Place of birthSydney, New South Wales
SchoolLeichhardt Public School, New South Wales
ReligionMethodist
OccupationRailway guard
AddressCanterbury, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation32
Next of kinFather, Thomas Crook, Hardy and Princess Street, Canterbury, New South Wales
Previous military serviceVolunteer Army Service Corps
Enlistment date10 August 1915
Rank on enlistmentSergeant
Unit nameField Ambulance 9, Section B
AWM Embarkation Roll number26/52/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A24 Benalla on 1 May 1916
FateKilled in Action 13 October 1917
Place of death or woundingPasschendaele, Ypres, Belgium
Age at death34
Age at death from cemetery records34
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 31), 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
182
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Thomas and Emily CROOK. Native of Leichhardt, New South Wales
Medals

Military Medal

'Was at CHARING CROSS Advanced Dressing Station (map ref. U.19.d.1.5.) (Sheet 28), during a heavy bombardment on the night of 5th/6th May, 1917. He lost no opportunity of seeing to the safety and comfort of the personnel and patients. Under a heavy shell fire of H.E. and shrapnel (20 shell holes are within a 50 yards radius ofdressing station), he assisted at and directed the removal of patients to places of safety. Later on he led a party to repair holes caused by shells in the road and the removing of broken trees etc. He showed throughout disregard to personal safety in devotion to his duty.'
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 189
Date: 8 November 1917

Other details

War service: Western Front

Medals: Military Medal, British War Medal, Victory Medal

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