The AIF Project

Charles Frederick BLESING

Regimental number1994
Place of birthSouthwark, South Australia
SchoolChurch of England School, Good Shepherd Boarding School, and Public School, Burnside, South Australia
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationClerk
AddressPhilip Street, Southwark, South Australia
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation21
Next of kinMother, Mrs Eliza Alice Blesing, Philip Street, Southwark, South Australia
Previous military serviceServed in the Cadets and the Citizen Military Forces.
Enlistment date9 August 1915
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name3rd Light Horse Regiment, 14th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number10/8/3
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Adelaide, South Australia, on board HMAT A69 Warilda on 10 February 1916
Rank from Nominal RollBombardier
Unit from Nominal Roll11th Field Artillery Brigade
Other details from Roll of Honour CircularWounded at Bullecourt, 1917.
FateKilled in Action 8 October 1917
Place of death or woundingPasschendaele, Ypres, Belgium
Age at death23.6
Age at death from cemetery records23
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 17), 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
16
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Frederick William and Eliza Alice BLESING, 29 Phillip Street, Southwark, South Australia. Native of Hackney, South Australia
Other details

War service: Western Front

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal

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