|Object type||Last Post film|
Australian War Memorial
|Place made||Australia: Australian Capital Territory, Canberra, Campbell|
|Date made||01 October 2013|
First World War, 1914-1918
Item copyright: © Australian War Memorial
This item is licensed under CC BY-NC
|Copying Provisions||Copy provided for personal non-commercial use|
The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (27) Company Sergeant Major Edward John Falloon, 1st Field Company Australian Engineers, First World War
The Last Post Ceremony is presented in the Commemorative area of the Australian War Memorial each 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 Craig Berelle, the story for this day was on (27) Company Sergeant Major Edward John Falloon, 1st Field Company Australian Engineers, First World War.
27 Company Sergeant Major Edward John Falloon, 1st Field Company Australian Engineers
KIA 10 April 1918
Story delivered 1 October 2013
Today, we remember and pay tribute to Company Sergeant Major Edward John Falloon.
Edward Falloon was from Richmond, Victoria, and worked as an electrician before enlisting in 1914. Those who knew him described him as strongly built, standing over 6 feet tall, earning him the nickname "Tiny". He served on Gallipoli with the 2nd Field Company, Australian Engineers, and in March 1916 was sent to France.
In July and August 1916 the 2nd Field Company served near the French village of Pozières. Corporal Falloon and his comrades provided support to the infantry, digging and repairing trenches and gun emplacements under some of the heaviest shell fire of the war.
It was for his conduct during this battle that Tiny Falloon was awarded the Military Medal. The recommendation reads:
During the operations against Pozières, from the 20th to the 25th of July, he showed high courage and devotion to duty, setting a fine example to the men under him under very heavy shell fire, and inspired them with great confidence.
Through January and February 1916, the 2nd Field Company was posted around the French town of Vignacourt, and during this period Tiny visited the makeshift photographic studio of Louis and Antoinette Thuillier, and had his photo taken. He is one of a growing number of Australian soldiers who have recently been identified in the collection of glass-plate negatives discovered at Vignacourt, some of which are now in the collection of the Australian War Memorial. It is this image that is displayed today beside the Pool of Reflection.
In March 1917, near the French town of Bazentin, Falloon was working with his own section of engineers and inspecting the work of another section some distance away. Both parties came under German artillery fire. Falloon led the second section to cover and, realising that the first section were still exposed, ran over 300 yards under fire to ensure that they, too, were safely under cover. His bravery in risking his own safety to ensure that of his men saw him awarded a bar to his Military Medal.
In October 1917 he was promoted to Company Sergeant Major and transferred to the 1st Field Company, Australian Engineers. He joined his new unit in Belgium, serving in areas around Ypres during the first few months of 1918.
In April the Germans started the second part of their Spring Offensive around Ypres. In the early days of this offensive, Tiny Falloon was killed. As he stood in a trench with his men, a single bullet from a burst of machine-gun fire struck him through the head, killing him instantly. He was reportedly buried by his comrades on the grounds of a nearby farm, but the area was devastated in subsequent fighting, and the location of his grave was lost. His name is now recorded on the Villers-Bretonneux Memorial in France.
Edward Falloon's 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 Company Sergeant Major Edward John Falloon, and all those Australians who have given their lives in the service of our nation.
Video of The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (27) Company Sergeant Major Edward John Falloon, 1st Field Company Australian Engineers, First World War (video)