AS VISITORS to the Australian War Memorial in Canberra are bid farewell at the end of each day, they are welcomed to take part in the Last Post Ceremony.
The ceremony begins with the singing of the Australian National Anthem, followed by the poignant strains of a Lament, played by a piper. Visitors are invited to lay wreaths and floral tributes beside the Pool of Reflection.
The Roll of Honour in the Cloisters lists the names of more than 102,000 Australians who have given their lives in war and other operations over more than a century. At each ceremony the story behind one of these names will be told. The Ode is then recited, and the ceremony ends with the sounding of the Last Post.
On Friday, December 2, 2015, the Last Post Ceremony honoured the memory of Lieutenant Ernest William Spreadborough (location 119 in the Commemorative Area of the War Memorial), a member of the 31st Battalion AIF that sailed on board A62 HMAT Wandilla enroute to Egypt.
A photo of the Battalion officers was taken at sea circa November 1915 (https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/A03377/).
Lt Spreadborough lived in Warwick, Queensland, and was killed in action at Fromelles, France, on July 19, 1916.
The Last Post Ceremony is broadcast live daily via webcam on the Memorial’s website from 4.55 pm AEDT.
The Ceremony is proudly supported by the RSL & Services Clubs Association, RSL Victoria and RSL Queensland.
The attached artwork was created by Pierre Seillier, a resident of Fromelles and an Honorary Member of the 31st Infantry Battalion Association.
He was nominated to receive the Award by the Brisbane Branch for his efforts in fostering a link of friendship between Australian and France, and is instrumental in the organisation of the annual Anzac Day ceremony that is attracts many visitors from Australia.
Pierre is a former Staff Sergeant (Quartermaster) in the French Army, is involved in recording and maintaining the history of World War I on the Western Front and disseminating it to tour groups, and is extremely proud of his links to the 31st Battalion.
Pictured below: The professionalism of the Perth Hills and Wheatbelt Band (WA) was on display in Fromelles in July 2015 where members entertained a large group of dignitaries, local community members and visitors from Britain and Australia.