The AIF Project

Henry Joseph FINN

Regimental number678
Place of birthCarlton, Victoria
ReligionRoman Catholic
AddressMangalore, Victoria
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation37
Next of kinMother, Mrs Mary Ann Finn, Mangalore, Victoria
Previous military serviceNil (previously rejected on the grounds of insufficient teeth).
Enlistment date12 July 1915
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll13 July 1915
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name31st Battalion, C Company
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/48/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A62 Wandilla on 9 November 1915
31st Battalion Headquarters and Companies A, B, C and D sailed on two ships, HMAT A62 Wandilla, 9th November 1915 from Melbourne, and HMAT A41 Bakara, 5 November 1915, from Melbourne. It is not possible to tell from the Embarkation Roll on which ship an individual embarked.
Rank from Nominal RollGunner
Unit from Nominal Roll10th Field Artillery Brigade
FateKilled in Action 23 September 1917
Age at death from cemetery records40
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 7), 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 Mary Ann FINN, Mangalore, Victoria. Native of Melbourne
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Disembarked Suez, 7 December 1915.

Transferred to 5th Divisional Artillery, Tel el Kebir, 15 March 1916.

Proceeded from Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 7 June 1916; disembarked Marseilles, 15 June 1916. Taken on strength, 4th Divisional Ammunition Column, 13 August 1916; transferred to 10th Field Artillery Brigade, 16 December 1916.

Admitted to 4th Australian Field Ambulance, 4 April 1917 (chronic rheumatism); transferred to 9th General Hospital, Rouen, 7 April 1917; admitted to No. 2 Convalescent Depot, 10 April 1917.

Marched out to England, 3 May 1917; marched into No. 2 Command Depot, 4 May 1917. Marched into Overseas Training Depot, Perham Downs, 18 July 1917.

Proceeded overseas to France, 8 August 1917; rejoined 10th Field Artillery Brigade, 18 August 1917.

Killed in action, Belgium, 23 September 1917. Buried right of 37th Battery position, Birr Cross Roads; grave destroyed in subsequent fighting.

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

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