The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of Lieutenant Colonel George Frederick Braund, 2nd Battalion (Infantry), First World War

Accession Number PAFU2013/042.01
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 13 September 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. Hosted by Richard Cruise, the story for this day was on Lieutenant Colonel George Frederick Braund, 2nd Battalion (Infantry), First World War.

Speech transcript

Lieutenant Colonel George Frederick Braund, 2nd Battalion
KIA 4 May 1915
Photograph: H19445

Story delivered 13 September 2013

Today, we remember and pay tribute to Lieutenant Colonel George Frederick Braund.

George Braund was born on Friday 13 July 1866 in Bideford, Devon. He was the second of ten children of Frederick and Ellen Braund, who brought their family to Australia in 1881. Aged 15, young George Braund worked alongside his father in a merchant's warehouse in Sydney. When his father brought his own merchant business in Armidale, George worked for him as an accountant and, later, manager.

George was an active member of his local community. He coached gymnastics, was a boxer and fencer, and played Rugby Union for New South Wales in 1888. He was also active in the cadet corps and in literary and drama groups, and was a local magistrate as well as a serving member of a number of boards, associations and societies, with an active political career.

At the same time, Braund was a prominent member of the Citizens' Military Forces had had risen to the post of commander of the Armidale company of the 4th Australian Infantry Regiment. He had married Lalla Robina Blythe in 1895, and they had four children.

Within weeks of the outbreak of the First World War, Braund enlisted for active service with the Australian Imperial Force. He was 48 years old at the time, and was commissioned lieutenant-colonel in command of the 2nd Battalion. He was known for his self-discipline, being a non-drinker, non-smoker and a vegetarian, and tried to instil the same principles in his troops. In October the battalion left Australia, arriving in Egypt two months later, where training continued.

The 2nd Battalion landed at ANZAC on the morning of 25 April 1915. The battalion was almost immediately involved in desperate attempts to hold the high ground above the beach, and Braund was instrumental in the battalion gaining and holding a line above Walkers Ridge. He demonstrated a marked propensity to lead by example and would later be Mentioned in Despatches by General Sir Ian Hamilton for his conspicuous gallantry.

Unfortunately, that distinction would come posthumously. At 1 am on 4 May 1915, Braund was returning to the rest camp established on the hill that bore his name. However, being a little deaf, he failed to hear the challenge of the sentry. He was shot dead, and his body found the following morning.

George Braund was survived by his wife, two sons and a daughter. Lasting memorials to him are found in the New South Wales Legislative Assembly, in Armidale and in the official history of the Second Battalion where George's photograph forms the frontispiece of the book.

His name is listed on the Roll of Honour on my right, along with 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 Colonel George Frederick Braund, and all of those Australians who have given their lives in the service of our nation.

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