The AIF Project

William George RODWELL

Regimental number5445
Place of birthLucknow, Orange, New South Wales
ReligionChurch of England
AddressYerranderie, via Camden, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation21
Next of kinFather, Mr R Rodwell, Yerranderie, via Camden, New South Wales
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date23 November 1915
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name4th Battalion, 17th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/21/4
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A40 Ceramic on 14 April 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll56th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 28 September 1917
Age at death from cemetery records23
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 29), 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
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Richard and Annie RODWELL. Native of Lucknow, Orange, New South Wales
Family/military connectionsBrother: 1978 Driver Charles Gordon Russell RODWELL, 34th Bn, returned to Australia, 14 January 1918.
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Disembarked Suez, 17 May 1916. Reallotted to 14th Training Bn, Tel el Kebir, as reinforcement to 56th Bn, 24 May 1916.

Proceeded from Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 21 June 1916; disembarked Marseilles, 29 June 1916. Joined 56th Bn, 26 July 1916. Found guilty, 21 August 1916, of being absent from billet without a pass: awarded 5 days' Field Punishment No. 2.

Detached to Divisional Bomb School, 2 October 1916; rejoined Bn from School, 13 October 1916.

Admitted to 2nd Casualty Clearing Station, 21 November 1916 (pleurisy); transferred to 6th General Hospital, Rouen, 27 November 1916 (myalgia); to 2nd Convalescent Depot, 3 December 1916. Rejoined unit, 20 December 1916.

Admitted to 3rd Australian Casualty Clearing Station, 6 April 1917 (trench feet); transferred by Ambulance Train to 6th General Hospital, Rouen; to 2nd Convalescent Depot, 13 April 1917; to 4th Infantry Base Depot, 23 April 1917; rejoined unit, 27 April 1917.

On leave to England, 6 September 1917. Appointed Lance Corporal, 14 September 1917. Rejoined unit from leave, 18 September 1917.

Killed in action, 28 September 1917.

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal

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