Sgt
Thomas Marshall McKinstry

Information about birth

Year of birth:
1895
Place of birth:
Goornong, Bendigo, Victoria, Australia

General information

Profession:
Farm Hand
Religion:
Presbyterian

Army information

Country:
Australia
Force:
Australian Imperial Force
Rank:
Sergeant
Service number:
238
Enlistment date:
18/01/1915
Enlistment place:
Bendigo, Victoria, Australia
Units:
 —  Australian Infantry, 21st Bn. (Victoria)  (Last known unit)

Information about death

Date of death:
04/10/1917
Place of death:
Zonnebeke Lake, Belgium
Cause of death:
Killed in action (K.I.A.)
Age:
22

Memorial

Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial
Panel: Bay 23 Stone O

Distinctions and medals 3

Points of interest 3

#1 Place of birth
#2 Enlistment place
#3 ‘Place of death’

My story

Sergeant Thomas Marshall McKinstry was 19 years of age when he enlisted in the 21st Battalion (part of the 2nd Division, 6th Brigade) of the AIF on 18th January 1915 at Bendigo, Victoria.
He was the son of William John and Charlotte McKinstry and had 3 other brothers in WWI: Andrew Hugh and James Alexander, both serving with the 21st Battalion and Arthur Taggart who served with the Light Horse in the Middle East.

As Anzac veteran he had spent some time in a hospital in Malta with dysentery and after the Pozieres Battle had risen to the rank of Sergeant.

The Battle of Broodseinde, part of the Battle of Passchendaele, took place on the 4th October1917. That day the 2nd Division attacked at 05.25 a.m., zero hour, met the same German counter-attacks as the 1st Australian Division and likewise fought them off.
Chasing the retreating Germans, the 6th Brigade skirted Zonnebeke Lake and helped capture the village itself. On the way they captured four anti-tank field guns and carried on over their first objective without stopping, although some companies were brought back to the first objective. The final objective was taken including Broodseinde village.

During these operations sergeant Thomas Marshall McKinstry, age 22, was killed in action. A mate said Thomas “was killed by concussion, and there no marks on him” at the time of his death. It happened outside a pillbox at Passchendaele Ridge. He was buried in the field but his remains were lost. So his name is commemorated on the Menin Gate Memorial in Ypres, Bay 23 Stone O.
His younger brother, Andrew Hugh McKinstry was killed in the same fight, serving with the same Battalion, at the age of 20. He was buried in the Tyne Cot Cemetery at Passchendaele. His two other brothers returned safely to Australia.

Connection to other soldiers 1