The AIF Project

William Denis GAMBLES

Regimental number887
Place of birthYork, England
Address'Crokham', Dandenong, Victoria
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation19
Height5' 9"
Weight163 lbs
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date18 August 1914
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name8th Battalion, H Company
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/25/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board Transport A24 Benalla on 19 October 1914
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll2nd Brigade Machine Gun Company
FateKilled in Action 20 September 1917
Age at death from cemetery records23
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 31), 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
Son of Mrs. Ada GAMBLES, 4 Teck Street, Bishopthorpe Road, Yorks, England
Other details

Emigrated to Australia, 1911-12.

War service: Egypt, Gallipoli, Western Front

Embarked from Alexandria to join the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, 5 April 1915. Admitted to 1st Australian Casualty Clearing Station, Lemnos, 5 September 1915 (influenza); transferred to Mudros, then to Egypt and admitted to 1st Australian General Hospital, Heliopolis, 9 September 1915. Admitted to Helouan Convalescent Camp, 15 September 1915; discharged as fit, 28 October 1915. Rejoined unit, 9 November 1915. Disembarked Alexandria, 7 January 1916 (general Gallipoli evacuation). Taken on strength, 2nd Machine Gun Company, 12 March 1916.

Embarked from Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 25 March 1916; disembarked Marseilles, 30 March 1916. Admitted to 2nd Field Ambulance, 4 September 1916 (dysentery); transferred to 14th Stationary Hospital, 6 September 1916. Transferred to England, 12 September 1916, and admitted to 3rd London General Hospital, 13 September 1916. Transferred to Bournemouth Military Hospital, 11 January 1917. Proceeded on furlough, 9 May 1917; reported to Training Depot, Wareham, 24 May 1917. Proceeded overseas to France, 26 June 1917; rejoined unit, 10 July 1917.

Killed in action, Belgium, 20 September 1917.

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

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