The AIF Project

George Hugh MORRISON

Regimental number1668
Place of birthMendooran, New South Wales
SchoolCoonamble Public School, New South Wales
Other trainingFarm labourer
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationFarm labourer
AddressGranchester, Mundooran, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation20
Height6' 1"
Weight144 lbs
Next of kinMother, Mrs Mary Elizabeth Morrison, Granchester, Mundooran, New South Wales
Enlistment date15 January 1916
Place of enlistmentMundooran, New South Wales
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name45th Battalion, 2nd Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/62/3
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A40 Ceramic on 14 April 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll45th Battalion
Recommendations (Medals and Awards)

Unspecified


Recommendation date: 22-28 August 1916

FateKilled in Action 10 October 1917
Place of death or woundingPasschendaele, Ypres, Belgium
Age at death21.10
Age at death from cemetery records21
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 27), 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
140
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Andrew and Mary MORRISON. Native of Mendooran, New South Wales
Family/military connectionsBrother: 817 Pte Thomas William MORRISON, 36th Bn, killed in action, 10 December 1916.
Other details

War service: Western Front

Statement, Red Cross File No 1830414L, 2453 Pte P.E. McIlwraith, D Company, 45th Bn (patient, Georges Heights Military Hospital, Mosman, New South Wales), 6 November 1918: 'Informant described Morrison as about 6 feet high, slight build, fair complexion, aged about 28/29. Informant states that they both belonged to D Company. On 10/10/17 the Battalion was at Passchendaele holding the support lines. at about 9 a.m. while a party including Morrison and Informant were sitting in a trench a shell fell right amongst them and killed Morrison and another soldier named Cecil Morgan outright. Two others of the party were wounded. Informant was almost rubbing shoulders with Morrison, yet emerged unhurt although he was buried as a result of the explosion. Informant helped to bury Morrison and Morgan in the one grave near where they fell. They made a rough cross on which they penciled the names of the two men with indelible pencil and put it on the grave. According to Informant Morrison was well liked by his mates.'

Second statement, 3077 Sergeant W.A.KERR, D Company, 45th Bn, 7 May 1918: 'It was at Zonnibeke (sic) that George Morrison was killed. He was a long tall chapwith hair betwixt and between. We called him "Snakey". A shell wiped him out at about 11 o'clock on the morning of Oct. 10th. It blew half his head off. I was very close, about 5 yards away and it made me shiver. We buried him there and then at Zonnibeke (sic) and I put a cross on his grave.'

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, MORRISON George Hugh
Red Cross File No 1830414L
UNSW Canberra Academy Library Manuscript Collection: Guide to the Papers of Raymond Morrison
Digitised Diary: 15 January 1916 to 1 January 1917
Digitised Diary: 1 January 1917 to 9 October 1917

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