The AIF Project

Peter FEENAN

Regimental number77
Place of birthEast Maitland, New South Wales
ReligionRoman Catholic
OccupationLabourer
AddressNewcastle Street, East Maitland, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation23
Next of kinFather, John Feenan, Newcastle Street, East Maitland, New South Wales
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date3 January 1916
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 RollLance Corporal
Unit from Nominal Roll53rd Battalion
FateKilled in Action 26 September 1917
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 29), 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.

Other details

War service: Western Front

Embarked from Sydney, 1 May 1916; disembarked Plymouth, England, 9 July 1916.

Found guilty by District Court Martial, 29 May 1916, of disobeying an order [to bathe] given by his Superior Officer: awarded 14 days' detention and forfeiture of 18 days' pay.

Proceeded overseas to France, 22 September 1916; taken on strength, 53rd Bn, 9 October 1916.

Detached to 5th Army Trench Mortar School, 20 June 1917; rejoined Bn, 4 July 1917.

Appointed Lance Corporal, 5 September 1917.

Killed in action, 26 September 1917.

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal

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