Charles Thomas AYERS

Regimental number3002
Place of birthTemora, New South Wales
SchoolBrawlin Public School, New South Wales
ReligionRoman Catholic
OccupationTram guard
AddressCootamundra, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation28
Next of kinFather, T G Ayers, Cootamundra, New South Wales
Enlistment date5 August 1915
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name3rd Battalion, 10th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/20/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A69 Warilda on 8 October 1915
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll55th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 26 September 1917
Place of death or woundingPolygon Wood, Ypres, Belgium
Age at death31.5
Age at death from cemetery records29
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.

Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Thomas Gabriel and Ellen Mary AYERS, 'Fernleigh', Third and Holden Streets, South Ashfield, New South Wales
Family/military connectionsBrothers: 2518 Pte Victor Albert AYERS, 37th Bn, returned to Australia, 27 August 1917; [612] Lt Sydney Winton AYERS, Australian Flying Corps, died of wounds, 24 November 1917.
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Taken on strength,3rd Bn, Tel el Kebir, 5 February 1916. Transferred to 55th Bn, 13 February 1916.

Embarked from Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 19 June 1916; disembarked Marseilles, 29 June 1916. To School of Instruction, 10 December 1916; rejoined unit, 19 December 1916.

Admitted to 14th Field Ambulance, 1 July 1917 (acute rheumatism); transferred to 38th Casualty Clearing Station, 11 January 1917; transferred to 5th General Hospital, Rouen, 14 January 1917. Evacuated to England, 25 January 1917, and admitted to County of London War Hospital, Epsom, 27 January 1917 (myalgia); transferred to 3rd Auxiliary Hospital, Dartford, 5 March 1917. Granted furlough, 19 March 1917, to report to No. 1 Command Depot, Perham Downs, 3 April 1917.

Proceeded overseas to France, 9 May 1917; rejoined unit, 28 May 1917.

Killed in action, 26 September 1917.

Medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal