The AIF Project

John Henry WHITE

Regimental number2191
Place of birthViborg, Finland
ReligionChurch of England
AddressAdelaide, South Australia
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation36
Height5' 7"
Weight163 lbs
Next of kinSister, Mrs Wilhemina Porhoneu, Trogsund, Wiborg, Finland
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date21 July 1915
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll19 July 1915
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name32nd Battalion, 3rd Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/49/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Adelaide, South Australia, on board HMAT A28 Miltiades on 7 February 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll48th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 12 October 1917
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 27), 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
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Disembarked Suez, 11 March 1916. Taken on strength, Duntroon Plateau, 1 April 1916. Admitted to 15th Field Ambulance, 12 May 1916 (fractured leg: tibia accidentally broken 'during a spell of drill'); transferred to Casualty Clearing Station, 14 May 1916; discharged to duty, 15 May 1916.

Proceeded from Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 17 June 1916; disembarked Marseilles, 23 June 1916.

Admitted to 3rd New Zealand Field Ambulance, 9 July 1916 (ruptured tendons); discharged to duty, 18 July 1916. Admitted to 8th Australian Field Ambulance, 18 July 1916; rejoined Bn, 24 July 1916. Admitted to Divisional Rest Station, 25 September 1916 (old fracture); transferred to 1st Australian Casualty Clearing Station, 28 September 1916; to 3rd Casualty Clearing Station, 1 October 1916; to England, 2 October 1916, and admitted to Auxiliary Military Hospital, Gravesend, 3 October 1916; transferred to 3rd Australian Auxiliary Hospital, Dartford, 30 October 1916; to No. 2 Command Depot, Weymouth, 12 November 1916; to Infantry Drafting Depot, Perham Downs, 14 April 1917. Admitted to Brigade Hospital, Perham Downs, 3 May 1917 (myalgia). Proceeded overseas to France, 4 June 1917; taken on strength, 48th Bn, 29 June 1917. Detached for duty with Australian Division Headquarters, 21 September 1917; rejoined Bn, 4 October 1917.

Missing in action, Belgium, 12 October 1917; Court of Enquiry, 8 April 1918, confirmed fate as 'killed in action'.

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal

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