The AIF Project

William Harvey FOAT

Regimental number224
Place of birthRylstone, New South Wales
SchoolPublic School, New South Wales
Other trainingNil
ReligionChurch of England
AddressTrangie, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation29
Height5' 5"
Weight131 lbs
Next of kinMother, Mrs Mary Ann Bosworth, Trangie, New South Wales
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date24 February 1915
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name19th Battalion, A Company
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT Ceramic on 25 June 1915
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll19th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 9 October 1917
Place of death or woundingZonnebeke, Belgium
Age at death31.10
Age at death from cemetery records31
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 23), 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
Commemorated in Trangie Cemetery, New South Wales. Parents: Mary Ann BOSWORTH (formerly FOAT, and the late Fredrick Harvey FOAT, Goholian Street, Wellington, New South Wales. Native of Rylstone, New South Wales
Other details

War service: Egypt, Gallipoli, Western Front

Proceeded to join Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, Gallipoli, 16 August 1915. Disembarked Alexandria from Mudros, 7 January 1916 (general Gallipoli evacuation).

Proceeded from Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 18 March 1916; disembarked Marseilles, 25 March 1916.

Wounded in action, 27 July 1916 (gas), and admitted to No. 3 Casualty Clearing Station. Transferred to No. 13 Stationary Hospital, Boulogne, 27 July 1916; discharged to Base Details, 3 August 1916; rejoined unit, 16 August 1916.

Wounded in action, 26 August 1916 (shell shock and gun shot wound, face); admitted to 5th General Hospital, Rouen, 28 August 1916. Transferred to England, 1 September 1916, and admitted to 3rd London General Hospital, 3 September 1916. Transferred to 2nd Auxiliary Hospital, 12 October 1916; discharged to No. 4 Command Depot, Weymouth, 7 November 1916. Found guilty, 5 January 1917, of being absent without leave, 3 pm, 29 December, to 9.15 pm, 30 December 1916: admonished and awarded forfeiture of 2 days' pay.

Proceeded overseas to France, 15 March 1917; rejoined 19th Bn, 9 April 1917.

Killed in action, Belgium, 9 October 1917.

1729 Sergeant S.S. MATTICK, 19th Bn, stated: 'I was with [215] Sgt.[J.C.] Evans at the time of his death. He was killed by a shell which landed on the parados and the "Back-Wash" entered his head and neck killing him immediately. Sgt Evans was digging to deepen the trench, which was waterlogged when he met his death. No. 269, T/Sgt. Lochens W. and No. 334, Sgt. Taylor, E.D. (now Lieut. in 17th Bn) and I, buried Sgt. Evans. He was buried where he fell I There was a pill-box half-left from the position we were in at the time. After burying Sgt. Evans we placed his rifle and a paper inscription above the grave. Along with Sgt. Evans was buried No. 224, Pte. Foat. They were both killed by the same shell and we buried them together.'

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

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