The AIF Project

William Henry BEARD

Regimental number535
Place of birthSydney New South Wales
SchoolFortitude Valley State School, Queensland
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationCompositor
AddressHarcourt Street, Teneriffe, Brisbane, Queensland
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation22
Next of kinMother, Mrs Sarah Beard, Harcourt Street, Teneriffe, Brisbane, Queensland
Enlistment date22 July 1915
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name31st Battalion, B Company
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/48/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A62 Wandilla on 9 November 1915
Two ships left from Melbourne carrying the 31st Battalion Headquarters and Companies A, B, C and D: HMAT A62, 'Wandilla', on 9 November 1915 and HMAT A41, 'Bakara', on 5 November 1915. It is not possible from the Embarkation Roll to determine on which ship an individual embarked.
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A41 Bakara on 5 November 1915
Two ships left from Melbourne carrying the 31st Battalion Headquarters and Companies A, B, C and D: HMAT A62, 'Wandilla', on 9 November 1915 and HMAT A41, 'Bakara', on 5 November 1915. It is not possible from the Embarkation Roll to determine on which ship an individual embarked.
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll31st Battalion
FateKilled in Action 26 September 1917
Place of death or woundingPolygon Wood, Ypres, Belgium
Age at death24
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
118
Other details

War service: Western Front

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal

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