The AIF Project

William WHEATE

Regimental number5107
Place of birthLiverpool, England
SchoolChatsworth Council School, Liverpool, England
Age on arrival in Australia12
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationShip's steward
Address4 Cliff Street, Kensington, Liverpool, England
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation21
Next of kinMother, Mrs M Wheate, 4 Cliff Street, Kensington, Liverpool, England
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date12 November 1915
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll10 November 1915
Rank on enlistmentActing Corporal
Unit name20th Battalion, 13th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/37/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A31 Ajana on 5 July 1916
Rank from Nominal RollSergeant
Unit from Nominal Roll20th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 9 October 1917
Place of death or woundingYpres, Belgium
Age at death22.6
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
92
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Edwin and Margaret WHEATE
Medals

Military Medal

'During the operations before REINCOURT on 3rd May the work performed by this man was excellent. He went forward with his Lewis Gun and team, engaging the enemy on every possible occasion. He urged the men on around him, taking charge of a party of men getting through the enemy wire. Private WHEAT's behaviour throughout the whole of the engagement was calm, cool and courageous.'
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 189
Date: 3634110

Other details

War service: Western Front

Medals: Military Medal, British War Medal, Victory Medal

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