The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of Lieutentant William Paton Hoggarth, 50th Battalion (Infantry), First World War

Accession Number PAFU/849.01
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 16 June 2013
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

The Last Post Ceremony is presented in the Commemorative area of the Australian War Memorial every 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. The story for this day was on Lieutentant William Paton Hoggarth, 50th Battalion (Infantry), First World War.

Speech transcript

Lieutenant William Paton Hoggarth, 50th Battalion
KIA 2 April 1917
Photograph: P09291.126

Story delivered 16 June 2013

Today, we remember and pay tribute to Lieutenant William Paton Hoggarth.

Civil engineer William Hoggarth enlisted within weeks of the outbreak of the First World War. He left Australia with the 10th Battalion, AIF, in October 1914 and sailed to Egypt. From there he and the 10th Battalion went to Gallipoli. In the dawn landing on 25 April 1915 Hoggarth was shot in the shoulder and seriously wounded. He was evacuated and sent to hospital, surviving his wounds after several months of recovery.

Following the evacuation from ANZAC Cove, the AIF was reorganised. As a result, Hoggarth was transferred to the 50th Battalion and promoted to lieutenant. After a period of training in Egypt the battalion was sent to France to fight on the Western Front. Their first engagement here was against the heavily fortified Mouquet Farm in early August 1916. Hoggarth, in charge of a platoon, took his men forward and reached the ruins of the farm, becoming the first Australian to enter it. However, his platoon had no support on either flank, and when Hoggarth was wounded they were forced to withdraw. Hoggarth's jagged, gaping wound, caused by a gunshot to his upper leg, was so bad that witnesses thought it must have been caused by artillery fire.

Once again William Hoggarth recovered from his serious wounds and as soon as possible returned to his battalion. In April 1917, they were attacking the fortified village of Noreuil, an outpost to the Hindenburg Line. Yet again, Hoggarth was badly wounded in the advance, but shouted to the men who stopped to help him to "Go on!" His sacrifice would cost him his life, and he was not seen alive again. Hoggarth was buried in the Australian cemetery at Noreuil, in one of a few graves not to be lost to subsequent fighting. He is buried with nearly 100 of his comrades of the 50th Battalion who died on the same day.

His name is listed on the Roll of Honour on my right, along with around more than 60,000 others from the First World War, and his photograph is displayed today beside the Pool of Reflection.

This is but one of the many stories of courage and sacrifice told here at the Australian War Memorial. We now remember Lieutenant William Paton Hoggarth, and all of those Australians who have given their lives in service of our nation.