The AIF Project

Ronald Sydney WATSON

Regimental number589
Place of birthDrummoyne, New South Wales
ReligionPresbyterian
OccupationCommercial traveller
Addressc/o Mrs J Black, Windsor Avenue, Croydon Park, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation20
Height5' 5"
Weight131 lbs
Next of kinBrother, A E Watson, c/o Mrs Williams, Montague Street, Balmain, New South Wales
Previous military serviceServed in the Cadets; serving in the 34th Infantry, Citizen Military Forces, at time of AIF enlistment.
Enlistment date2 September 1914
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name1st Battalion, E Company
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/18/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board Transport A19 Afric on 18 October 1914
Miscellaneous details (Nominal Roll)Name does not appear on Nominal Roll
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
31
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Robert Scarlett and Lillian Victoria WATSON.
Other details

War service: Egypt, Gallipoli, Western Front

Proceeded from Alexandria to join the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, Gallipoli, 5 April 1915. Admitted to Casualty Clearing Station, 21 November 1915 (jaundice); transferred by Hospital Ship 'Delta' to Alexandria, and admitted to 15th General Hospital, 26 November 1915; to Red Cross Convalescent Hospital, Montasah, 23 December 1915; to Convalescent Camp, Helouan, 19 January 1916; to Overseas Base, Ghezerih, 29 January 1916. Attached as Groom to Anzac HQ, Ismailia, 1 February 1916.

Proceeded from Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 22 March 1916; disembarked Marseilles, 28 March 1916. Transferred to 1st Bn, 8 September 1916.

Admitted to 3rd Australian Field Ambulance, 12 January 1917 (septic foot); transferred to Anzac Rest Station, 12 January 1917; to 9th General Hospital, 20 January 1917; to No. 2 Convalescent Depot, 29 January 1917; discharged to Base Depot, 25 February 1917; rejoined unit, 24 April 1917.

On Command, Corps School, 6 August 1917; rejoined Bn, 25 August 1917. On leave to United Kingdom, 11 September 1917; rejoined unit from leave, 25 September 1917.

Killed in action, Belgium, 3 October 1917. CO stated that he 'was killed by shell-fire on 3rd October 1917 on Anzac Ridge'.

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

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