The AIF Project

Colin Joseph ASHLEY

Regimental number1229
Place of birthHay, New South Wales
ReligionRoman Catholic
OccupationLabourer
AddressMcCauley Street, East Hay, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation23
Next of kinFather, John Ashley, McCauley Street, East Hay, New South Wales
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date5 August 1915
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name30th Battalion, D Company
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/47/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A72 Beltana on 9 November 1915
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll14th Field Artillery Brigade
FateKilled in Action 1 October 1917
Place of death or woundingBelgium
Age at death24
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
18
Family/military connectionsBrother: 586 Pte James Alfred ASHLEY, 2nd Bn, killed in action, 6-9 August 1915.
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Disembarked Suez, 11 December 1915.

Transferred to 5th Division Artillery and taken on strength, 15th Field Artillery Brigade, 15 March 1916.

Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 7 June 1916; disembarked Marseilles, France, 15 June 1916.

Transferred to 14th Field Artillery Brigade, 23 January 1917.

Wounded in action, 9 April 1917 (gun shot wound, right arm); admitted to 9th General Hospital, Rouen, 12 April 1917; transferred to 2nd Convalescent Depot, 14 April 1917; rejoined unit, 19 May 1917.

Proceeded on leave, 15 September 1917; rejoined from leave, 27 September 1917.

Killed in action, 1 October 1917.

Medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, ASHLEY Colin Joseph

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