The AIF Project

William SANDERS

Regimental number1276
Place of birthTraralgon, Victoria
SchoolState School, Victoria
ReligionPresbyterian
OccupationFarmer
AddressSale, Victoria
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation32
Next of kinMother, Mrs Ellen Sanders, Sale, Gippsland, Victoria
Previous military serviceServed in the 13th Light Horse.
Enlistment date18 February 1916
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name37th Battalion, D Company
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/54/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A34 Persic on 3 June 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll37th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 07-9 February 1916
Place of death or woundingFrance
Age at death33
Age at death from cemetery records33
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 25), 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: Edmund and Ellen SANDERS, Clydebank, Sale, Victoria
Family/military connectionsBrother: 1277 Pte Herbert SANDERS, 37th Bn, returned to Australia, 15 April 1918; Cousin: 1449 Pte Ernest Graham DAVIDSON, 8th Bn, died of wounds, 10 August 1918.
Other details

War service: Western Front

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal

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