The AIF Project

Robert Bruce BOTTEN

Regimental number11737
Place of birthCarisbrooke, Victoria
SchoolCarisbrooke State School No 1030, Victoria
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationPostmaster
AddressCarisbrook, Victoria
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation20
Next of kinFather, J Botten, Carisbrook, Victoria
Previous military serviceServed in the Cadets; also in the Rangers & Rifle Club, Carisbrook, Victoria.
Enlistment date3 November 1915
Rank on enlistmentGunner
Unit nameField Artillery Brigade 2, Reinforcement 14
AWM Embarkation Roll number13/30/3
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A32 Themistocles on 28 January 1916
Rank from Nominal RollGunner
Unit from Nominal Roll1st Field Artillery Brigade
FateKilled in Action 16 August 1917
Place of death or woundingYpres, Belgium
Age at death22
Age at death from cemetery records22
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 7), 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
11
Family/military connectionsBrothers: 2286 Pte Edgar Gordon BOTTEN, 38th Bn, returned to Australia, 25 September 1916; 4135A Pte Edward Albert BOTTEN, 1st Machine Gun Bn, returned to Australia, 12 May 1919; 3258 Pte Richard Thomas BOTTEN, 46th Bn, returned to Australia, 12 May 1919.
Other details

War service: Western Front

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal

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