The AIF Project

William Thomas GARDNER

Regimental number2540
Place of birthCheadle, Staffordshire, England
ReligionChurch of England
Address77 Buckingham Street, Richmond, Victoria
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation21
Height5' 7"
Weight140 lbs
Next of kinMother, Mrs A Underwood, 340 Dank Street, Middle Park, Victoria
Previous military serviceServed in the Senior Cadets for 18 months; in the Citizen Military Forces for 3 years: still serving at time of AIF enlistment.
Enlistment date2 June 1915
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll3 June 1915
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name6th Battalion, 7th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/23/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A64 Demosthenes on 16 July 1915
Rank from Nominal RollLance Sergeant
Unit from Nominal Roll6th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 4 October 1917
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
Other details

War service: Egypt, Gallipoli, Western Front

Marched in to Mediterranean Expeditionary Force draft for Dandanelles, Zeitoun, Egypt, 19 September 1915. Taken on strength Australian and New Zealand Base, Mudros, 28 September 1915; transferred to Gallipoli, 3 October 1915; taken on strength, 6th Bn, 19 November 1915. Disembarked Alexandria ex Lemnos, 7 January 1916 (general Gallipoli evacuation).

Proceeded from Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 26 March 1916; disembarked Marseilles, 2 April 1916.

Wounded in action, France, 25 July 1916 (gun shot wound, right knee); admitted to 1st Canadian General Hospital, 26 July 1916. Transferred to England, 2 August 1916. Granted furlough after discharge from hospital, 29 August 1916. Proceeded overseas to France, 29 September 1916. Promoted Acting Corporal, 2 October 1916; Acting Sergeant, 16 November 1916. Reverted to rank of Private, 31 December 1916; rejoined 6th Bn, 18 January 1917; promoted Corporal, 29 March 1917; appointed Lance Sergeant, 15 May 1917.

Killed in action, Belgium, 4 October 1917.

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

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