The AIF Project

Thomas Henry SEARS

Regimental number2447
Place of birthNottingham, England
SchoolCouncil School, Nottingham, England
Age on arrival in Australia18
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationLabourer
AddressHelidan, Queensland
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation19
Height5' 5"
Weight127 lbs
Next of kinBrother, William Sears, c/o Jack Doroughty, Flagstone Creek, Helidan, Queensland
Enlistment date25 April 1915
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name9th Battalion, 7th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/26/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A9 Shropshire on 20 August 1915
Rank from Nominal RollSergeant
Unit from Nominal Roll49th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 7 June 1917
Place of death or woundingMessines, Belgium
Age at death22
Age at death from cemetery records22
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
149
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Thomas and Sarah SEARS, 43 Duncombe Street, Nottingham, England
Other details

War service: Middle East, Western Front

Joined 9th Bn, Mudros, 18 November 1915. Appointed Lance Corporal, 4 December 1915. Disembarked Alexandria, 4 January 1916 (general Gallipoli evacuation).

Transferred to 49th Bn, 25 February 1916.

5 June 1916; disembarked Marseilles, 12 June 1916. Promoted Corporal, 7 June 1916; Sergeant, 6 September 1916. On leave to England, 7 January 1917; rejoined unit from leave, 26 January 1917. To School of Instruction, 11 May 1917; rejoined unit, 13 May 1917.

Killed in action, Belgium, 7 June 1917.

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

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