The AIF Project

William George ARMSTRONG

Regimental number2372
Place of birthBrisbane, Queensland
SchoolWaterford State School, Queensland
ReligionMethodist
OccupationFarmer
AddressMurgon, Queensland
Marital statusMarried
Age at embarkation42
Next of kinWife, Mrs Edith Miriam Armstrong, Murgon, Queensland
Previous military serviceServed three years with Moreton Infantry until disbanded.
Enlistment date18 April 1916
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name52nd Battalion, 5th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/69/3
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Brisbane, Queensland, on board HMAT A49 Seang Choon on 19 September 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll47th Battalion
Other details from Roll of Honour CircularHe was chairman of the first Shire Council of Murgon.
FateKilled in Action 8 June 1917
Place of death or woundingMessines, Belgium
Age at death43
Age at death from cemetery records43
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 27), 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
143
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Thomas and Frances ARMSTRONG; husband of E. M. ARMSTRONG, Murgon, Queensland. Native of Loganlea, Queensland
Family/military connectionsNephew: 4168 Pte Alfred Frank CASWELL, 9th Bn, killed in action, 7 October 1917.
Other details

War service: Western Front

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal

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