The AIF Project

William EDWARDS

Regimental number1278
Place of birthBallarat, Victoria
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationTailor
AddressBallarat, Victoria
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation22
Next of kinMother, Mrs Annie Edwards, 7 Young Street, Ballarat, Victoria
Previous military serviceNil (previously rejected on account of heart trouble)
Enlistment date21 March 1916
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll31 March 1916
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name39th Battalion, D Company
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/56/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A11 Ascanius on 27 May 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll37th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 13 July 1917
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 25), 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
128
Other details

War service: Western Front

Taken on strength, 2nd Training Bn, England, 9 September 1916.

Proceeded overseas to France, 14 June 1917; taken on strength, 37th Bn, 1 July 1917.

Killed in action, 13 July 1917.

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal

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