The AIF Project

Clifford Davies WILLIAMS

Regimental number7340
Place of birthTarnagulla, Victoria
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationClerk
AddressFrench Creek, Victoria
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation24
Height5' 4.5"
Weight123 lbs
Next of kinFather, W Williams, BA, French Creek, Hamilton, Victoria
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date4 February 1916
Place of enlistmentMelbourne, Victoria
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name7th Battalion, 24th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/24/5
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A70 Ballarat on 19 February 1917
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll23rd Battalion
FateDied of wounds 1 October 1917
Date of death25 January 1996
Age at death from cemetery records25
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, 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
45
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: William and Laura Williams, 30 Lambeth Avenue, Malvern, Victoria. Native of Tarnagulla, Victoria
Other details

War service: Western Front

Embarked Melbourne, 19 February 1917; disembarked Devonport, England, 25 April 1917; marched in to 2nd Training Bn, Durrington, 26 April 1917.

Proceeded overseas to France, 30 August 1917; taken on strength, 23rd Bn, in the field, 8 September 1917.

Died of wounds, 1 October 1917.

Handwritten notation on Form B103: 'Buried'.

Statement, Red Cross File No 2961101K, 4756 Pte G. PRIEST, 23rd Bn (patient, 2/1st Southern General Hospital, Birmingham, England), 6 October 1918: 'He went out on a strong post with six others and was badly wounded and also buried. He was dug out and carried into the front trench on a stretcher but he was unconscious and died before we reached the first Aid Post and as there were lots of more wounded he was layed [sic] on the side, and two men went and buried him later in the day. He was not buried in a soldiers [sic] cemetery but his name was temporary [sic] put up ... His watch and ring was handed to one ofr the officers.'

Second statement, Red Cross File No 2950614R, 7368A Pte J.R. STUBER, B Company, 23rd Bn, 24 July 1918: 'Williams was killed in the Ypres district. I was told by Pte Geo. Priest of 8 Pl. B Co. who was still with the Bn. when I left on 4 July, that he carried Williams out of the line. Williams was in an outpost when a shell buried him and he was also badly injured in the stomach. He was dug out but he was unconscious. Priest was one of the men detailed to carry Williams on a stretcher to the D/S. Williams died on the way. He apparently became conscious for a few seconds and opened his eyes. He then gavce a sdigh and died...'

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, WILLIAMS Clifford Davies
Red Cross File Nos 2961101K and 2950614R

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