The AIF Project

William F WILKIE

Regimental number676
Place of birthTenterfield, New South Wales
ReligionPresbyterian
OccupationDraper
AddressTenterfield, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation26
Height5' 10.5"
Weight140 lbs
Next of kinP Wilkie Snr, Tenterfield, New South Wales
Enlistment date12 August 1914
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit nameNaval and Military Expeditionary Force, G Company
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/112/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A35 Berrima on 19 August 1914
Miscellaneous details (Nominal Roll)Name does not appear on Nominal Roll
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
90
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Peter and Louisa WILKIE
Other details

War service: embarked from Sydney on board HMAT 'Berrima', 19 August 1914. Served at Rabaul. Discharged from AN&MEF (time expired), 4 March 1915.

Enlisted in AIF, 2 April 1915. Embarked from Sydney on board HMAT A61 'Kanowna', 19 June 1915, as 1800 Sergeant, 19th Bn, 2nd Reinforcement.

Embarked from Alexandria to join the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, 16 August 1915. Appointed Temporary Sergeant, 30 October 1915. Admitted to hospital, Gallipoli, 11 November 1915; returned to duty, 25 November 1915 (no details recorded). Admitted to HS 'Oxfordshire', 12 December 1915 (oedema, foot); tansferred to No. 2 Australian General Hospital, Ghezireh, Egypt, 15 December 1915; to Ras el Tin Convalescent Depot, 12 January 1916; discharged to duty, 19 January 1916; rejoined 19th Bn, Tel el Kebir, 20 January 1916. Promoted Sergeant, 28 February 1916.

Embarked from Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 18 March 1916; disembarked Marseilles, 25 March 1916. To NCOs' School of Instruction, 8 May 1916; to 5th Training Bn, Salisbury Plains, England, 31 October 1916. Found guilty, 29 December 1916, of being absent without leave from 2400, 26 December, to 1100, 28 December 1916: severely reprimanded; forfeited 2 days' pay. Appointed to Permanent Cadre of 5th Training Bn, 1 January 1917. Proceeded overseas to France, 25 June 1917; rejoined 19th Bn, 30 June 1917.

Promoted Company Sergeant Major (Warrant Officer Class II), 4 July 1917.

Killed in action, Belgium, 9 October 1917.

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

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