The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (3715) Private Harold Kenneth Campbell, 3rd Battalion (Infantry), First World War

Accession Number PAFU/867.01
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 6 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 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 (3715) Private Harold Kenneth Campbell, 3rd Battalion (Infantry), First World War.

Film order form
Speech transcript

3715 Private Harold Kenneth Campbell, 3rd Battalion
DOW 2 August 1916
No photograph in collection

Story delivered 6 July 2013

Today, we remember and pay tribute to Private Harold Kenneth Campbell.

Harold Campbell was a young farmer from the Blaxland area of New South Wales who enlisted in the AIF on 29 June 1915. He was only 19 years old when he joined, so he needed the permission of his parents, James and Edith Campbell, to do so. They were willing for him to go to "fight for his King and Country" so he joined the 3rd Battalion and was sent to France to fight on the Western Front. He finally arrived there in May 1916, having missed the fighting on Gallipoli.

Harold Campbell first experienced the fighting on the Western Front at the battle of Pozières on 23 July 1916. The 3rd Battalion participated in the first operation against the village, and were successful in securing all their objectives. They held the new forward line and the village for three days until they were withdrawn on 26 July.

During this action, Harold Campbell worked as a stretcher-bearer. There was a shortage of stretcher-bearers during this fight, and men like Harold Campbell worked almost constantly in terrible conditions. They were exposed to incessant shellfire and did most of their work under cover of darkness. A friend of Campbell's who wrote to his parents following his death told them that "it required exceptional bravery to face the fire so persistently".

But face it Harold Campbell did. On the day of withdrawal, however, while carrying a wounded soldier to safety with another man, he was shot in the leg and knee and became a casualty himself. While initially well enough to send a cable to his father from hospital, Campbell's wounds festered and, in the days before antibiotics, caused his death on 2 August 1916. He was buried in an extension to the local French cemetery with other men wounded in the same action.

His friend Humphrey Watson, in a letter to Campbell's parents, wrote: "& your boy's grand devotion to duty and his brightness at all times won my admiration and was the reason his chums always looked up to him & Do be comforted in knowing there are many of us who knew him and mourn with you."

Harold Kenneth Campbell had just turned twenty years old when he died.

His name is listed on the Roll of Honour on my right, 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 Harold Kenneth Campbell, and all those Australians who have given their lives in the service of our nation.

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