The AIF Project

Samuel Vaughan SELBY

Regimental number3224
Place of birthNewtown, Sydney, New South Wales
SchoolWest Leederville State School and Scotch College, Perth, Western Australia
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationDentist
Marital statusMarried
Age at embarkation29
Height5' 11.5"
Weight160 lbs
Next of kinWife, Mrs Edith Emily Louise Selby, 179 Stirling Street, Perth, Western Australia
Previous military serviceServed in the Dental Section, Australian Army Medical Corps Reserve, for 2 months.
Enlistment date10 October 1916
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll10 October 1916
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name48th Battalion, 8th Reinforcement
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Fremantle, Western Australia, on board HMAT A35 Berrima on 23 December 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll48th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 12 October 1916
Place of death or woundingPasschendaele, Ypres, Belgium
Age at death30
Age at death from cemetery records30
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 27), 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
147
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: John and Elizabeth SELBY. Native of Sydney, New South Wales
Family/military connectionsBrother: Lt Arthur Roland SELBY, 11th Bn, returned to Australia, 8 October 1915.
Other details

War service: Western Front

Embarked from Fremantle, 23 December 1916; disembarked Plymouth, England, 16 February 1917. Appointed Lance Corporal for voyage, 25 December 1916; reverted to Private, 6 March 1917.

Admitted to Parkhouse Hospital, 13 April 1917 (mumps); discharged from hospital, 1 May 1917. Appointed Acting Lance Corporal, 8 June 1917; reverted to rank of Private, 5 September 1917.

Proceeded overseas to France, 5 September 1917; taken on strength, 48th Bn, 16 September 1917.

Reported missing in action, Belgium, 12 October 1917; Court of Enquiry, 8 April 1918, confirmed fate as 'killed in action'.

Statements tendered by three witnesses. (1) 6459 Pte O.R. REDMAN, 48th Bn (16 February 1918): 'On the morning of 12th October 1917 at Passchendaele at about 7.30 am we were advancing. Private Selby (whom I know well) was walking on my right, thirty yards distant. I saw a shell burst beside him. On investigation nothing was to be found of him. I therefore conclude he was blown to pieces.' (2)3355 Pte J.C. FORWOOD, 48th Bn (16 February 1918): 'When we had progressed about four hundred yards, during the advance near Passchendaele, on the 12th October 1917, I met and spoke to No. 3224 Private Selby S.V. 48th Battalion. We hadn't gone more than about a chain when I happened to glance round and saw Private Selby lying on the ground. Blood was oozing from a large hole in his breeches near the thigh. I was only a few yards away, but could notice no sign of movement. Corporal O'NEAL (number unknown) of "C" Company, 48th Battalion, passed me and said "Poor Sam is hit, can't we do something for him?" I replied "No, the stretcher bearers are following up and they will attend to him." Both Corporal O'Neal and myself went on ahead. This occurred about half-way between our jumping off trench and objective.' (3) 3108 Corporal H.J. BLOWFIELD, 48th Bn (11 March 1918): 'No. 3224 Privarte Selby S.V. was killed by a shell at Passchendaele on the 12th October 1917. I saw him standing in a shell hole about fifty yards from me. I saw a shell burst right where he was standing. A few minutes later I went over to where he was standing but could find no trace of him. The shell that fell where he was, had absolutely blown him to pieces. Captain Carter of the 48th Battalion can also verify my statement as he as there when Selby was killed.'

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal

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