The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (3022) Private Bertie Charles Bull, 2nd Battalion Australian Machine Gun Corps, First World War

Accession Number PAFU/852.01
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 20 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 Copyright restrictions apply. Only personal, non-commercial, research and study use permitted. Permission of copyright holder required for any commercial use and/or reproduction.

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. Hosted by Richard Cruise the story for this day was on (3022) Private Bertie Charles Bull, 2nd Battalion Australian Machine Gun Corps, First World War.

Film order form
Speech transcript

3022 Private Bertie Charles Bull, 2nd Battalion, Australian Machine Gun Corps
DOW 10 April 1918
No photograph in collection

Story delivered 20 June 2013

Today, we remember and pay tribute to Private Bertie Charles Bull.

Bertie Bull was one of twin sons born to Charles and Fannie Bull in Hurstville, New South Wales. His father died when he was a child, and he and his family were living near Casino in the north of the state when the First World War began. Bertie followed in his elder brother Rowley's footsteps by enlisting in the Australian Imperial Force. Rowley had been killed in action in the fighting around Pozières and Mouquet Farm in mid-1916, which may have been one of the reasons Bertie decided to enlist. Instead of enlisting in Lismore, as his brother had, he headed up to Queensland in December 1916.

Bertie Bull was a tall man, over six feet in height and 22 years of age on enlistment. He was sent to Britain for training with the 41st Battalion. Family was never far from his mind, and he often spoke of his mother and his twin brother, Lance, at home in Australia. One month after arriving in Britain, Bull was sent to hospital seriously ill with pneumonia. It took him some months to recover.

Towards the end of his recovery, Bull was transferred to the 2nd Battalion of the Australian Machine Gun Corps. There his role was to form part of the crew of a Vickers gun, which typically took six to eight men to work effectively.

Late at night on 9 April 1918 two gun crews of the 2nd Machine Gun Battalion were going into action at Hangard. They were unloading their Vickers guns, tripods and ammunition from the limber carrying the guns when a shell fell into the middle of the gun team Bull was working with. Lance Corporal John Hanney was killed instantly. Bull and another man, Private James McKnight, were seriously wounded. Both men died in the early hours of the following morning.

Artillery on the Western Front often took lives arbitrarily when least expected. Bertie Charles Bull was remembered as a "well-liked chap" by those in his battalion. He
may have died a somewhat anonymous death on the battlefield, but he was remembered by them and he is also remembered here.

His name is listed on the Roll of Honour on your left, along with around 60,000 others from the First World War.

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

  • Video of The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (3022) Private Bertie Charles Bull, 2nd Battalion Australian Machine Gun Corps, First World War (video)