The AIF Project

Francis Henry BREALEY

Regimental number2103
Place of birthNaracoorte, South Australia
SchoolNaracoorte Public School, South Australia
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation21
Height5' 9"
Weight144 lbs
Next of kinMother, Mrs Edith Brealey, Naracoorte, South Australia
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date2 March 1915
Place of enlistmentKeswick, South Australia
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name12th Battalion, 6th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/29/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A62 Wandilla on 17 June 1915
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll12th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 8 October 1917
Place of death or woundingYpres, Belgium
Age at death23
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 17), 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
Family/military connectionsBrothers: 1996 Driver Charles David BREALEY, 4th Divisional Ammunition Column, returned to Australia, 20 December 1917; 4261 Pte Stanley Thomas BREALEY, 32nd Bn, killed in action, France, 30 August 1918; 4740 Pte William Herbert BREALEY, 10th Bn, killed in action, France, 19 October 1917.~
Other details

War service: Egypt, Gallipoli, Western Front

Taken on strength, 12th Bn, Gallipoli, 6 August 1915. Admitted to No. 1 Field Ambulance, 26 August 1915 (bronchitis); transferred to No. 1 Australian Casualty Clearing Station, Mudros, 26 August 1915; by HS 'Ioanian' to Malta, 29 August 1915, and admitted to St George's Hospital; transferred to All Saints' Hospital, Malta, 24 September 1915 (rheumatic fever); embarked for Mudros, 15 November 1915; admitted to Overseas Base, Ghezirah, Egypt, 4 December 1915; discharged to unit, Tel el Kebir, 28 December 1915.

Admitted to 2nd Field Ambulance, 15 March 1916; transferred to 1st Australian Stationary Hospital, Serapeum, 17 March 1916; discharged to duty from 1st Australian Dermatological Hospital, 2 April 1916; total period of treatment for venereal disease: 19 days.

Embarked from Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 9 May 1916; joined Base Depot, France, 20 May 1916; taken on strength, 12th Bn, 4 August 1916.

Wounded in action, 5-8 May 1917 (gun shot wound, right elbow and hand); admitted to 7th Canadian General Hospital, Etaples, 7 May 1917; transferred to 6th Convalescent Depot, 26 May 1917; discharged to Base Depot, Havre, 6 June 1917; rejoined unit, 18 June 1917. Proceeded on leave, 28 July 1917; rejoined unit from leave, 12 August 1917.

Killed in action, 8 October 1917.

Medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, BREALEY Francis Henry

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