The AIF Project

James ROADKNIGHT

Regimental number858
Place of birthBairnsdale, Victoria
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationState school teacher
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation28
Height5' 9"
Weight148 lbs
Next of kinMother, Mrs A Roadknight, 11 Aaron Street, West Richmond, Victoria
Previous military serviceServed in the Senior Cadets for 2 years.
Enlistment date18 August 1914
Rank on enlistmentCorporal
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
Regimental number from Nominal RollCommissioned
Rank from Nominal RollLieutenant
Unit from Nominal Roll37th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 12 October 1917
Age at death from cemetery records25
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
129
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: James and Annie ROADKNIGHT, Bairnsdale East, Victoria. Native of Johnsonville
Family/military connectionsBrother: [803] Lt Walter ROADKNIGHT, 37th Bn, died of wounds, 11 August 1919.
Other details

War service: Egypt, Gallipoli, Western Front

Promoted Company Quartermaster Sergeant, 28 April 1915. Admitted to 2nd Field Ambulance Camp, Mudros, 5 November 1915 (jaundice); transferred to No. 3 Australian General Hospital, Lemnos, 5 November 1915; rejoined Bn, Mudros, 20 December 1915. Disembarked Alexandria, 7 January 1916 (general Gallipoli evacuation).

Promoted Temporary Regimental Quartermaster Sergeant, 25 March 1916; RQMS, 3 May 1916.

Proceeded from Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 18 June 1916; disembarked Marseilles, 29 June 1916.

Joined Balliol College, Oxford, 5 September 1916, for training for commission. Commissioned as 2nd Lt, 28 October 1916. Proceeded overseas to France, 7 December 1916; taken on strength, 37th Bn, 11 January 1917. Promoted Lt, 22 May 1917.

Wounded in action, 7-9 June 1917 (gun shot wound, right shoulder); admitted to 14th General Hospital, Wimereux, 10 June 1917; transferred to England, 10 June 1917, and admitted to Grange Hospital, Holmwood (wound: severe). Transferred to Cambridge Hospital, 6 July 1917; to 5th Auxiliary Hospital, 23 July 1917; discharged to Perham Downs, 3 September 1917. Proceeded overseas to France, 14 September 1917; rejoined 37th Bn, 20 September 1917.

Killed in action, Belgium, 12 October 1917. Killed by shell fire, death being instantaneous; buried in a shell hole about 70 yards from a Pill Box North of Augustus Wood, between Ypres and Passchendaele, Belgium.

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

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