The AIF Project

William Robert SIM

Regimental number6634
Place of birthToowoomba, Queensland
SchoolHindmarsh State School,South Australia
ReligionCongregational
OccupationClerk
AddressHindmarsh, South Australia
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation25
Next of kinMother, Mrs C Sim, Bacon Street, Hindmarsh, South Australia
Enlistment date25 September 1916
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name27th Battalion, 19th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/44/5
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Adelaide, South Australia, on board HMAT A28 Miltiades on 24 January 1917
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll50th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 18 October 1917
Place of death or woundingPasschendaele, Ypres, Belgium
Age at death26
Age at death from cemetery records26
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
151
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Commemorated on Clarkson Ltd Roll of Honor (design commissioned but never made): watercolour painting now held in the State Archives of South Australia. The Roll takes the form of a stained glass window headed 'The Great War 1914-1919', with a dedication: 'In Memory of Employees of CLARKSON Ltd who fell in the Great War and in honour of those who left Australia to serve with the Australian Imperial Forces.' The Roll of names is surrounded by scrolls listing major battles, most of which are misspelled: Courtenay's Post, Passchendael, Bullencourt, Poziers, Villers Brettonneux. Parents: George and Christina SIM 5 Bond Street, West Hindmarsh, South Australia
Family/military connectionsBrother: 6334 Pte Arthur John SIM, 50th Bn, killed in action, 18 October 1917.
Other details

War service: Western Front

Statement, Red Cross File No 2500306G, 1346 Pte H.C. HARPER, D Company, 50th Bn, 20 January 1918: 'The two brothers Simms [sic] were killed outright on the night about 18.10.17. by gas shell landing in their dug-out. I helped to dig them out and bury them together at Broodsiende [sic] Ridge within a few yards of where they fell. Cross was erected with names and particulars on.'

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesRed Cross File No 2500306G

Print format