The AIF Project

William Benjamin STEPHENS

Regimental number6153
Place of birthGranville, Sydney, New South Wales
Place of birthGranville, New South Wales
SchoolGlebe Public School, New South Wales
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationWood working machinist
Address19 Dulwich Street, Dulwich, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation23
Next of kinMother, Mrs Harriet Stephens, 1 Dulwich Street, Dulwich, Sydney, New South Wales
Previous military serviceServed in the AMC Citizen Forces.
Enlistment date21 July 1916
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name22nd Battalion, 17th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/39/4
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A8 Argyllshire on 31 October 1916
Regimental number from Nominal Roll6152
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll22nd Battalion
FateKilled in Action 4 October 1917
Place of death or woundingZonnebeke, Belgium
Age at death22.3
Age at death from cemetery records22
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 23), 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
97
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Alexander and Harriet STEPHENS, 19 Dulwich Street, Dulwich Hill, New South Wales
Other details

War service: Western Front

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal

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