The AIF Project

Thomas Acheson ARMSTRONG

Date of birth9 July 1891
Place of birthMackay, Queensland
SchoolTownsville Grammar School, Queensland
OccupationUniversity student
AddressUniversity of Sydney, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation24
Height6' 0"
Weight145 lbs
Next of kinFather, R Armstrong, Boldon, Mackay, Queensland
Previous military serviceServed 1 year in Sydney University Scouts and 2 1/2 years commissioned rank 26th Infantry Regiment, Citizen Military Forces.
Enlistment date16 March 1916
Rank on enlistmentLieutenant
Unit name33rd Battalion, C Company
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/50/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A74 Marathon on 4 May 1916
Rank from Nominal RollLieutenant
Unit from Nominal Roll33rd Battalion
FateKilled in Action 12 October 1917
Place of death or woundingFlanders
Age at death26
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
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Robert and Elizabeth Sarah Thompson ARMSTRONG
Other details

War service: Western Front

Embarked from Sydney, 4 May 1916; disembarked Devonport, England, 9 July 1916.

Transferred to Gosport Defence School, 21 August 1916.

Proceeded overseas to France, 21 November 1916.

Wounded in action, Messines, Belgium, 7 June 1917 (gun shot wound, right shoulder); admitted to 24th General Hospital, Etaples, 8 June 1917; transferred to England, 10 June 1917, and admitted to Reading War Hospital (wound: slight); discharged to Perham Downs, 30 July 1917.

Proceeded overseas to France, 10 August 1917; rejoined unit, 16 August 1917.

Killed in action, Belgium, 12 October 1917.

Mother chose the following inscription for his headstone: 'How went the fight I died and never knew, But well or ill, England, I died for you.' [Grave subsequently lost.]

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, ARMSTRONG Thomas Acheson

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