The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (NX4757) Lance Sergeant Dugald Roderick Hood, 2/3rd Battalion, Second Australian Imperial Force, Second World War.

Accession Number AWM2017.1.348
Collection type Film
Object type Last Post film
Physical description 16:9
Maker Australian War Memorial
Place made Australia: Australian Capital Territory, Canberra, Campbell
Date made 14 December 2017
Access Open
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945
Copyright Item copyright: © Australian War Memorial
Creative Commons License This item is licensed under CC BY-NC
Copying Provisions Copy provided for personal non-commercial use

The Last Post Ceremony is presented in the Commemorative area of the Australian War Memorial each day. The ceremony commemorates more than 102,000 Australians who have given their lives in war and other operations and whose names are recorded on the Roll of Honour. At each ceremony the story behind one of the names on the Roll of Honour is told. Hosted by Mathew Rose, the story for this day was on (NX4757) Lance Sergeant Dugald Roderick Hood, 2/3rd Battalion, Second Australian Imperial Force, Second World War.

Speech transcript

NX4757 Lance Sergeant Dugald Roderick Hood, 2/3rd Battalion, Second Australian Imperial Force
Drowned 27 January 1945

Story delivered 14 December 2017

Today we pay tribute to Lance Sergeant Dugald Roderick Hood.

Dugald Hood was born in Homebush, New South Wales, to Alexander and Edith Hood.

By the time that the Second World War was announced, he had married. He and his wife, Ina, lived in Candelo, where Hood worked as a farmer.

Shortly after the outbreak of the war, the Australian government announced that a Second Australian Imperial Force would be raised – an all-volunteer force for overseas service.

Hood enlisted on 26 of October 1939, among of the first wave of volunteers.

He was posted to the 2/3rd Battalion, and commenced training at Ingleburn Camp in November. A few months later, Hood was amongst the first contingent that left Sydney on 10 January 1940 for overseas service.

The 2/3rd battalion spent the rest of the year training in Egypt and Palestine. In January 1941, it took part in Australia’s first campaign of the war in Libya, when it was involved in the attack on Bardia and Tobruk.

In March, the battalion left Libya with the rest of the 6th Division, bound for Greece. Here it took part in the disastrous Allied campaign in the face of a swift German advance. The battalion was evacuated in late April and returned to Palestine. In June and July, the 2/3rd took part in the campaign in Syria and Lebanon, and remained in Syria as part of the garrison force until January 1942.

Following Japan’s entry into the war in December 1941, the 6th Division was recalled from the Middle East. The 2/3rd left the Middle East in
March 1942, but before returning to Australia in August, spent several months as part of the garrison forces on Ceylon (present-day Sri Lanka).

The battalion went into action against the Japanese along the Kokoda Trail, and participated in the beachhead battles. After major engagements at Eora Creek in October, Oivi in November, and on the Sanananda Track in November and December, the battalion returned to Australia, where it spent time training in northern Queensland.

In October 1944 the 6th Division was sent to the north coast of New Guinea to destroy the Japanese forces remaining in the Aitape-Wewak area. The 2/3rd Battalion arrived in December.

In January torrential rain caused severe flooding to Danmap River. Rising and raging floodwaters washed away bridges, boulders and trees. On the night of 26 January the machine-gun platoon of which Lance Sergeant Hood was a member found itself on a newly-formed island amidst the floodwaters. That night the river rose six meters above its banks. The men clambered to what high ground they could find, and then up in to the treetops.

The platoon commander, Lieutenant G.H. Fearnside, a veteran of Tobruk and El Alamein, found this night the most terrifying experience of his life. He recounted:
Some were killed outright in that mad onslaught of frenzied water and green timber; others were swirled beneath the press of timber and drowned; others were knocked unconscious and their bodies snatched and sent racing downstream, turning over and over, like otters
The following day, those survivors who had been washed away and made to the safety of the banks gathered in the battalion area. Seven men of the machine-gun company failed to report, including Lance Sergeant Hood who had drowned in the floodwaters.

Dugald Hood had three brothers, Robert, Arthur, and Stewart, who also served in the AIF. Robert was a member of the 2/30th Battalion. He was captured by the Japanese during the fall of Singapore, and later died as a prisoner of war working on the Burma–Thailand Railway. Arthur Hood also became a prisoner of war, captured by the Germans, but survived the war.

Dugald Hood was 30 years old. His name is also listed here, on the Roll of Honour on my left, among almost 40,000 Australians who died while serving in the Second World War.

This is but one of the many stories of service and sacrifice told here at the Australian War Memorial. We now Lance Sergeant Dugald Roderick Hood, who gave his life for us, for our freedoms, and in the hope of a better world.

Lachlan Grant
Historian, Military History Section

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