The AIF Project


Regimental number2840
Place of birthChorley, Lancashire, England
SchoolHanson School, Bradford, Yorkshire, England
Age on arrival in Australia18
ReligionChurch of England
AddressRailway Survey Office, Brisbane, Queensland
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation19
Height5' 3"
Weight119 lbs
Next of kinFather, William Shackleton, Pudsley, Yorks, England
Previous military serviceServed in Australian Militia, Oxley Regiment, Brisbane, Queensland.
Enlistment date8 July 1915
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll6 July 1915
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name15th Battalion, 9th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/32/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A33 Ayrshire on 1 September 1915
Rank from Nominal RollSergeant
Unit from Nominal Roll47th Battalion
Other details from Roll of Honour CircularBuried near Septime Barnes, about a mile east of Messines, Belgium.
FateKilled in Action 7 June 1917
Place of death or woundingMessines, Belgium
Age at death21
Age at death from cemetery records21
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
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Commemorated in Holy Trinity Church Burial Ground, Raikes Road, Skipton, Yorkshire. Parents: William and Mary SHACKLETON, Craven House, Pudsey, Yorks, England. Native of Chorley, Lancashire, England
Other details

War service: Middle East, Western Front

Proceeded to join the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, Gallipoli, 31 October 1915. File marked 'Failed to entrain on the 4-11-15'; proceeded to join the MEF, 13 November 1915.

Joined 15th Bn, Ismailia, 8 January 1916.

To hospital, 29 January 1916 (no details recorded); rejoined Bn, 30 January 1916.

Transferred to 47th Bn, Tel el Kebir, 3 March 1916.

Promoted Corporal, 14 March 1916.

Proceeded from Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 2 June 1916; disembarked Marseilles, France, 9 June 1916.

Promoted Sergeant, 24 May 1916.

Appointed Acting Company Sergeant Major, 26 August 1916; reverted to substantive rank of Sergeant, 9 November 1916.

Wounded in action, 15 November 1916 (gun shot wound, back), and admitted to 38th Casualty Clearing Station; transferred to 11th Stationary Hospital, Rouen, 16 November 1916; to England, 20 November 1916, and admitted to 1st Western General Hospital, Liverpool, 21 November 1916.

Granted furlough, 30 December 1916, to report to No 1 Command Depot, Perham Downs, 16 January 1917.

Proceeded overseas to France, 28 February 1917; rejoined 47th Bn, 7 March 1917.

Killed in action, Belgium, 7 June 1917.

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

Official Secretary, Australia House, London, advised Base Records, Melbourne, 9 February 1923, that 'Although exhaustive searches and investigations have been made with the object of locating the grave of [2840 Sgt SHACKLETON, R.], who was originally reported buried 1 mile East of Messines, it has not been possible to obtain any information which might indicate his present resting place.'

Note, Red Cross File No 24605011: 'No trace Germany[.] Cert. by Capt. Mills 10/10/19'.
SourcesNAA: B2455, SHACKLETON Richard
Red Cross File No 24605011

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