The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (1281) Private George Long, 4th Battalion (Infantry), First World War

Accession Number PAFU/866.01
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 5 July 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
Description

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 Troy Clayton the story for this day was on (1281) Private George Long, 4th Battalion (Infantry), First World War.

Speech transcript

1281 Private George Long, 4th Battalion
KIA 6 May 1915
No photograph in collection

Story delivered 5 July 2013.

Today, we remember and pay tribute to Private George Long.

George Long was born at Mintaro in the Clare Valley, South Australia, in July 1895. His family moved to Broken Hill when he was five years old, and it was here that he received his education, at the Burke Ward School, Railway Town.

Long was a keen cyclist and won a number of events in and around Broken Hill. On the outbreak of war he was working in the electrical department of the south mine at Broken Hill. He was in the contingent of 500 men from Broken Hill who were the first to enlist from the mining town. They travelled by rail to Sydney, where George and his good friend Alfred Halliday enlisted together.

Long left Australia with the 4th Battalion after a period of training in Australia. After further training and preparation in Egypt, the battalion was ready to sail to Gallipoli. On 24 April 1915 the battalion left Mudros Harbour at 12 noon, arriving off the Turkish coast in the early hours of the 25th. The first tow left for the beach at 6.45 am, and the battalion completed the landing by early afternoon. Although pressed hard, they held their positions throughout the day.

From that time the 4th Battalion were involved in consolidating their gains and reinforcing their positions. They were regularly in danger from rifle and artillery fire coming from the Turkish lines. At some point on 6 May 1915, George Long was killed by this indiscriminate fire. He was buried in the 4th Battalion Parade Ground Cemetery at Gallipoli.

Long had arrived on Gallipoli with a gold watch and a gold medal he had won in cycling competitions. They were never recovered. His good friend, Alfred Halliday, survived Gallipoli and went on to serve on the Western Front. He, too, was killed in action, at the battle of Passchendaele in 1917.

The names of both George Long and his mate Alfred Halliday are listed on the Roll of Honour on my right, along with around 60,000 others from the First World War,
and Long's 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 Private George Long, and all those Australians who have given their lives in the service of our nation.

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