The AIF Project

Walter Harry WILSDON

Regimental number2706
Place of birthCaltowie, South Australia
OccupationFarm labourer
AddressCaltowie, South Australia
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation21.10
Height5' 10"
Weight154 lbs
Next of kinFather, C W Wilsdon, Caltowie, South Australia
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date31 December 1914
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll3 December 1914
Place of enlistmentOaklands, South Australia
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name4th Light Horse Field Ambulance
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Adelaide, South Australia, on board HMAT A30 Borda on 23 June 1915
Regimental number from Nominal RollCommissioned
Rank from Nominal RollLieutenant
Unit from Nominal Roll4th Light Horse Regiment
FateKilled in Action 8 October 1917
Miscellaneous details (Nominal Roll)Date of death incorrectly recorded on Nominal Roll as 23 April 1917.
Age at death from cemetery records24
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 17), 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
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Commemorated on Caltowie Methodist Church Roll of Honour, now located in Caltowie Cemetery, South Australia. Commemorated on Caltowie War Memorial Tablet, South Australia. Photo: Peter Dennis. Parents: Charles William and Amy Spottiswoode WILSDON, Prospect, South Australia

Distinguished Conduct Medal

'For conspicuous gallantry in action, when he assisted to carry in many wounded men from an open area heavily swept by shell fire.'
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 184
Date: 14 December 1916

Family/military connectionsBrother: 62467 Pte John Angus WILSDON, 5th South Australian Reinforcements, ship recalled owing to cessation of hostilities.
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Medals: Distinguished Conduct Medal, 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, WILSDON Walter Harry

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