The AIF Project


Regimental number5792
Place of birthQuirindi, New South Wales
ReligionChurch of England
Address50 Rosser Street, Rozelle, New South Wales
Marital statusMarried
Age at embarkation23
Next of kinWife
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date18 April 1916
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name17th Battalion, 16th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/34/3
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A40 Ceramic on 7 October 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll17th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 20 September 1917
Place of death or woundingPolygon Wood, Passchendaele.
Age at death24
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
Parents: William and Margaret CORNING; husband of Irene Cladys CORNING, York Street, Singleton, New South Wales. Native of Willow Tree, New South Wales
Family/military connectionsBrother-in-law: 624 Pte William Herbert MILLER, 17th Bn, killed in action, 6 September 1915.
Other details

War service: Western Front

Embarked from Sydney, 7 October 1916; disembarked Plymouth, England, 21 November 1916. Proceeded overseas to France, 28 December 1916; joined Bn, 6 February 1917.

Found guilty, 2 March 1917, of being absent without leave, 3-5.30 pm, 20 February 1917, and of misconducting himself in a public place: awarded 28 days' Field Punishment No. 2.

Accidentally wounded, 16 May 1917 (bomb wound, leg); admitted to 5th Australian Field Ambulance; discharged to duty, 18 May 1917; rejoined Bn, 19 May 1917. Report stated: 'Was accidently [sic] wounded whilst receiving instructions in bombing and was in no way to blame.'

Killed in action, Belgium, 20 September 1917.

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal

Print format