The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (473) Lance Corporal George Lawrence Murphy, 14th Battalion, AIF, First World War.

Places
Accession Number AWM2018.1.1.170
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 19 June 2018
Access Open
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918
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
Description

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 Craig Berelle, the story for this day was on (473) Lance Corporal George Lawrence Murphy, 14th Battalion, AIF, First World War.

Speech transcript

473 Lance Corporal George Lawrence Murphy, 14th Battalion, AIF
KIA 8 August 1915

Story delivered 19 June 2018

Today we remember and pay tribute to Lance Corporal George Lawrence Murphy.

George Murphy was born in 1891 in Neerim, Victoria, to George and Elizabeth Murphy. He attended the local public school in Neerim South, and went on to work on the railways as a line repairer. His family moved to Bendigo around 1913 and George went with them, taking up a position as a storeman in a local shop. When his father died a year after the move, his mother became the proprietor of a local hotel. George was very popular in Bendigo, with a large number of friends.

George Murphy enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force shortly after the outbreak of war in 1914. He was posted to the 14th Battalion and underwent a period of training in Australia before being sent for overseas service. In the early months of 1915, the battalion underwent a further period of training in Egypt.

The 14th Battalion arrived off the Gallipoli coast on the evening of 25 April 1915. About an hour later the wounded began to arrive in boats; the men of the 14th Battalion made room for them in the troops decks and helped bring them aboard all night. The majority of the battalion landed on Gallipoli the following day, going ashore around midday under Turkish shrapnel fire. After spending the night on the beach, the 14th Battalion moved up to the heights above the beach to reinforce the Australian position.

A little over three weeks later the 14th Battalion was holding a position near Courtney’s Post when they came under a heavy Turkish attack. Although under severe artillery and rifle fire, the Australians held their ground and were able to repel the attack. During the process, Private Murphy was shot in the throat and evacuated to a hospital ship. His wounds do not appear to have been too serious, however, as shortly afterwards he returned to Gallipoli.

In early August the allies launched their last great offensive action on the Gallipoli Peninsula. Beginning on 6 August 1915, the offensive called for a series of synchronised attacks all along the Anzac positions. Feints took place at Lone Pine in the south and the Nek in the north in an attempt to draw Ottoman reinforcements away from the main thrust to capture the heights of the Sari Bair Range.

On 8 August, as part of the August Offensive, the 14th Battalion participated in an unsuccessful operation to capture a Turkish position known as Hill 971. Private Murphy was wounded as he left the trenches in the charge against the summit. He died shortly afterwards before he could receive medical attention.

George Murphy’s body was never recovered from the battlefield and today he commemorated on the Lone Pine Memorial to the Missing. He was 24 years old.

His name is listed on the Roll of Honour on my right, among almost 62,000 Australians who died while serving in the First World War.

This is but one of the many stories of service and sacrifice told here at the Australian War Memorial. We now remember Lance Corporal George Lawrence Murphy, who gave his life for us, for our freedoms, and in the hope of a better world.

Meleah Hampton
Historian, Military History Section

  • Video of The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (473) Lance Corporal George Lawrence Murphy, 14th Battalion, AIF, First World War. (video)