The AIF Project

George William SAUNDERS

Regimental number3221
Place of birthMelbourne, Victoria
SchoolMelbourne High School, Victoria
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationPublic servant
AddressBrunswick, Victoria
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation24
Next of kinMother, Mrs Mary Ann Saunders, 523 Lygon Street Extension, Brunswick, Victoria
Previous military serviceTrainee in the Volunteer Cadet Corps 1907-1909.
Enlistment date27 October 1916
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name58th Battalion, 8th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/75/4
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A7 Medic on 16 December 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll58th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 25 September 1917
Place of death or woundingPolygon Wood, Ypres, Belgium
Age at death24.9
Age at death from cemetery records24
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
165
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Charles and Mary SAUNDERS, 523 Lygon Street Extension, Brunswick, Victoria
Family/military connectionsCousins: [310] Lt Frederick Norman SIMPSON, 3rd Pioneer Bn, drowned, 28 December 1916; 2705 Pte John ORMSTON, killed in action, 21 September 1917; 3890 Pte George William ORMSTON, 6th Bn, killed in action, 5 June 1918.~
Other details

Roll of honour circular states place of birth as Stawell, Victoria.

War service: Western Front

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal

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