The AIF Project

Alfred Ernest CASTLE

Regimental number1909
Place of birthBathurst, New South Wales
OccupationRailway cleaner
AddressMaria Street, Blayney, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation21
Height5' 9.75"
Weight144 lbs
Next of kinFather, A Castle, Maria Street, Blayney, New South Wales
Enlistment date1 June 1915
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name18th Battalion, 3rd Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/35/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A54 Runic on 9 August 1915
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll2nd Machine Gun Battalion
FateKilled in Action 4 October 1917
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 31), 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
Family/military connectionsBrother: 2141 Pte Harold CASTLE, 54th Bn, killed in action, 15 May 1917.
Other details

War service: Egypt, Gallipoli, Western Front

Taken on strength, Gallipoli, 11 October 1915. Disembarked Alexandria from Mudros, 9 January 1916 (general Gallipoli evacuation).

Proceeded from Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 18 March 1916; disembarked Marseilles, 25 March 1916.

Admitted to Field Ambulance, 16 November 1916 (trench feet); transferred to England, and admitted to 2nd Southern General Hospital, 29 November 1916 (trench feet, slight); to 3rd Auxiliary Hospital, Dartford, 5 December 1916; discharged on furlough,15 January 1917, to report to No. 1 Command Depot, Perham Downs, 31 January 1917. Marched in to Infantry Draft Depot, 3 March 1917. Proceeded overseas to France, 24 April 1917. Attended Musketry School of Instruction, 24 April 1917; passed as having fair knowledge of Lewis Gun. Taken on strength, 5th Machine Gun Company, 5 May 1917.

Killed in action, 4 October 1917.

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

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