The AIF Project

Leo James CORRIGAN

Regimental number500
Place of birthSurry Hills, New South Wales
ReligionRoman Catholic
OccupationClerk
Address96 Bondi Road, Waverley, Sydney, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation19
Next of kinMother, Mrs Sarah Jane Corrigan, 96 Bondi Road, Waverley, Sydney, New South Wales
Previous military serviceServed for 1 year in the 21st Infantry, Citizen Military Forces; 6 months in the Australian Naval & Military Expeditionary Force, New Guinea.
Enlistment date22 March 1915
Place of enlistmentLiverpool, New South Wales
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name18th Battalion, B Company
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/35/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board Transport A40 Ceramic on 25 June 1915
Regimental number from Nominal RollCommissioned
Rank from Nominal Roll2nd Lieutenant
Unit from Nominal Roll18th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 20 September 1917
Age at death from cemetery records22
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 23), 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
85
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: James and Sarah CORRIGAN, 'Olivette', 96 Bondi Road, Waverley, New South Wales
Other details

War service: Egypt, Gallipoli, Western Front

Embarked from Alexandria to join the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, Gallipoli, 16 August 1915. Wounded in action, 21-25 August 1915; returned to duty from 5th Field Ambulance, 26 August 1915. Promoted Sergeant, 28 August 1915. Disembarked Alexandria, 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 7th Australian Field Ambulance, 26 June 1916 (pneumonia); transferred to 13th General Hospital, Boulogne, 2 July 1916; to England, 4 July 1916; and admitted to Shorncliffe Military Hospital, 5 July 1916. Transferred to No. 1 Auxiliary Hospital, Harefield, 25 July 1916; to No. 1 Command Depot, Perham Downs, 8 August 1916. Proceeded overseas to France, 16 January 1917; rejoined Bn, 26 January 1917.

Detached to attend No. 2 Officers' Cadet Bn, Pembroke College, Cambridge, 5 May 1917. Appointed 2nd Lt, 30 June 1917. Proceeded overseas to France, 17 July 1917; rejoined 18th Bn, 31 July 1917.

Wounded in action, Belgium, 20 September 1917; subsequently determined to have been killed in action, 20 September 1917. CO, 18th Bn, reported: 'Lieut. L.J. Corrigan was killed by a shell on Anzac Ridge, forward of Westhoek on 20th Sept, 1917. He had successfully led his Platoon through the attack and consolidated his objective when the shell burst near him. Death was immediate. He was buried about 300x from Anzac House and a cross was erected about a fortnight later.'

'Statement of Casualties' form states buried in Cemetery B868.

Mother wrote to Base Records, 27 March 1919, requesting a photograph of her son's grave, stating 'Place of burial approx. 500 yds SW Westhoek; 3500 yds SW Zonnebeke'.

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

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