The AIF Project

William Charles DELANEY

Regimental number752
Place of birthNewtown, Tasmania
ReligionRoman Catholic
Address457 Elizabeth Street, Sydney, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation34
Next of kinMother, Mrs M Delaney, Derwent Park, Newtown, Hobart, Tasmania
Enlistment date16 November 1915
Rank on enlistmentCorporal
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 RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll33rd Battalion
Recommendations (Medals and Awards)

Distinguished Conduct Medal

Work on 15 July 1917.
Recommendation date: 20 July 1917

Military Medal

Recommendation date: 25 July 1917

FateKilled in Action 30 September 1917
Age at death from cemetery records35
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: William and Mary Elizabeth DELANEY, Wallingford, New Zealand. Native of Hobart, Tasmania

Military Medal

'At MESSINES on 15th July, 1917, for most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty. Under a continuous heavy barrage Private DELANEY attended to many of our wounded, and carried them to the Regimental Aid Post in full view of the enemy. Casualties that occurred in his sector could not be evacuated expeditiously through our trenches and this gallant man repeatedly carried them overland, absolutely regardless of all personal danger. During the period from 11th July to 17th july, 1917, he worked continuously and although badly shaken he refused to rest. By his untiring efforts and gallantry he undoubtedly saved the lives of several of his comrades. His splendid devotion to duty together with his cheerful readiness greatly inspired the whole Battalion. Private DELANEY accompanied tow of our raids and did excellent work in the battle of MESSINES, also he displayed great courage and devotion to duty and worked without relief for the 96 hours we were in the line.'
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 9
Date: 24 January 1918

Other details

War service: Western Front

Medals: Military Medal, British War Medal, Victory Medal

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