The AIF Project

William Amos ELLEM

Regimental number1029
Place of birthCasino, New South Wales
ReligionChurch of England
AddressRappville, Richmond River, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation25
Next of kinFather, John Ellem, Rappville via Casino, Richmond River, New South Wales
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date25 January 1916
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name41st Battalion, 1st Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/58/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A64 Demosthenes on 18 May 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll41st Battalion
FateKilled in Action 5 October 1917
Place of death or woundingPasschendaele, Ypres, Belgium
Age at death26.11
Age at death from cemetery records26
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
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: John and Isabella ELLEM, Wyan, New South Wales. Native of Casino
Family/military connectionsBrother: 1028 Company Quartermaster Sergeant Thomas Henry ELLEM, 41st bn, returned to Australia, 24 December 1918;3 Cousins killed in action and one winning the MM and DCM. One the MM.~
Other details

War service: Western Front

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal

Embarked from Sydney, 17 May 1916; disembarked Devonport, England, 20 July 1916. Taken on strength, 41st Bn, 23 October 1916.

Proceeded overseas to France, 24 November 1916.

Admitted to 7th General Hospital St Omer, 4 December 1916 (mumps); rejoined Bn, 27 December 1917.

Wounded in action, 23 April 1917 (gun shot wound, thigh); transferred to England, 27 April 1917, and admitted to Southern General Hospital, Edgbaston, Birmingham. Marched into No. 2 Command Depot, 27 June 1917; proceeded overseas to France, 10 September 1917; rejoined unit, 22 September 1917. Killed in action, Belgium, 5 October 1917.

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal

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