The AIF Project

Claude Graybrook SCHWONBERG

Regimental number2782
Place of birthMaclean, New South Wales
Other NamesClaude Greybrook
SchoolPublic School, New South Wales
OccupationPurser Ncsn Co
AddressMaclean, Clarence River, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation26
Height5' 7"
Weight147 lbs
Next of kinFather, F H Schwonberg, Maclean, Clarence River, New South Wales
Previous military serviceServed for 6 years in the Maclean Scottish Rifles.
Enlistment date12 July 1915
Place of enlistmentLiverpool, New South Wales
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name17th Battalion, 6th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/34/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A14 Euripides on 2 November 1915
Rank from Nominal RollCorporal
Unit from Nominal Roll17th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 9 October 1917
Age at death29
Age at death from cemetery records29
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
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Francis and Helen SCHWONBERG, Maclean, Clarence River, New South Wales
Family/military connectionsCousins and brother served [cannot be identified].
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Proceeded from Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 21 March 1916; disembarked Marseilles, 27 March 1916. Joined 17th Bn, 3 May 1916. Appointed Lance Corporal, 1 July 1916; Corporal, 1 August 1917.

Reported wounded and missing in action, 9 October 1917.

Court of Enquiry determined fate as 'Killed in action'. Statement made by 1232 Pte G. LYNCH, 17th Bn, 15 December 1917: 'The last time I saw No. 2872 L/Cpl Schwonberg C.G. 17th Battalion was at 10 a.m. on the 9th of October 1917. We were in an advance party which went up the Ypres Roueres railway. The enemy attacked us and we had to retire leaving wounded behind among them being the above mentioned Corporal. I believe he was wounded in the chest. The enemy advanced about 500 yards and consolidated which would leave him in their hands.'

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

SourcesNAA: B2455, SCHWONBERG Claude Graybrook

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