The AIF Project

Alexander Ronald COOPER

Regimental number6228
Place of birthNorth Melbourne, Victoria
SchoolDeer Park State School and High School, Melbourne,Victoria
ReligionPresbyterian
OccupationClerk
Address11 Pickett Street, Footscray, Victoria
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation21
Next of kinAunt, Mrs I Burnside, 11 Pickett Street, Footscray, Victoria
Previous military serviceServed in Cadets. Previously rejected for enlistment on account of chest.
Enlistment date10 July 1915
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name5th Battalion, 20th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/22/3
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A14 Euripides on 11 September 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll5th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 4 October 1917
Place of death or woundingBroodseinde, Passchendaele, Belgium
Age at death23.11
Age at death from cemetery records23
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 7), 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
43
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: John and Elizabeth COOPER. Native of Deer Park, Victoria
Other details

War service: Western Front

Embarked from Melbourne, 11 September 1916; disembarked Plymouth, 26 October 1916.

Proceeded overseas to France, 17 December 1916; taken on strength, 5th Bn, 25 December 1916.

Wounded in action, 1 February 1917 (shell wound, left forearm); admitted to 1st Australian General Hospital, Rouen, 3 February 1917. Transferred to England, 8 February 1917; admitted to 3rd Southern General Hospital, 10 February 1917. Transferred to 3rd Auxiliary Hospital, 2 April 1917; discharged to furlough, 27 April 1917, to report to No. 2 Command Depot, Weymouth, 5 May 1917. Marched out to No. 1 Command Depot, 9 May 1917; to Overseas Training Brigade, 16 August 1917. Proceeded overseas to France, 17 September 1917; rejoined unit, Belgium, 29 September 1917.

Killed in action, 4 October 1917.

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal

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