The AIF Project

Walter Thomas WICKERS

Regimental number2696
Place of birthSydney, New South Wales
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationMotor driver
AddressRhodeswell, Northcott Street, Marrickville, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation28
Height5' 4.5"
Weight116 lbs
Next of kinMother, Mrs E Wickers, Rhodeswell, Northcott Street, Marrickville, New South Wales
Enlistment date13 June 1915
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name13th Battalion, 8th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/30/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A54 Runic on 9 August 1915
Regimental number from Nominal Roll2696A
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll45th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 7 June 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
141
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Walter Richard and Evelyn WICKERS
Medals

Military Medal


Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 219
Date: 20 December 1917

Family/military connectionsBrother: 6757 Driver Cecil George WICKERS, 8th Field Ambulance, returned to Australia, 13 April 1919; 1420 Lance Corporal Arthur Robert WICKERS, 34th Bn, returned to Australia, 19 February 1919.
Other details

War service: joined 13th Bn, Mudros, 23 October 1915. Disembarked Alexandria, 1 January 1916 (general Gallipoli evacuation). Taken on strength, 45th Bn, 3 March 1916.

Proceeded from Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 2 June 1916; disembarked Marseilles, 8 June 1916.

Admitted to 12th Australian Field Ambulance,27 July 1916 (abscess, left foot); transferred to 13th Australian Field Ambulance, 27 July 1916; to Divisional Rest Station, 27 July 1916; discharged to Lines, 30 July 1916.

Awarded Military Medal, 23 June 1917, for bravery in the field.

Killed in action, 7 June 1917.

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

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