The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (2327A) Private Charles Raby Anstey, 9th Battalion (Infantry), First World War

Accession Number PAFU2013/080.01
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 October 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 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 (2327A) Private Charles Raby Anstey, 9th Battalion (Infantry), First World War.

Film order form
Speech transcript

h.2327A Private Charles Raby Anstey, 9th Battalion
DOW 2 July 1916
No photograph in collection

Story delivered 13 October 2013

Today we remember and pay tribute to Private Charles Raby Anstey.

Charles Anstey was the only son of Mr and Mrs Anstey of Tregeagle, near Lismore in New South Wales. He was a popular and likeable young man who played tennis and cricket in the local area. He had been educated at Sydney Grammar School and was involved with St. Peter's Church of England, where he was a minister's warden for some time.

In August 1916 at the age of 24 he left his farm to enlist in the Australian Imperial Force and was soon sent to Egypt. Here he was allotted to the 9th Battalion and underwent an extended period of training before being sent to fight on the Western Front.

Warfare in France was very different from what the Australians had encountered on Gallipoli. In order to gain experience of conditions on the Western Front, Australian battalions were involved in a series of large-scale raids in and around the Fleurbaix sector of the line. On the night of 1 July 1916, around 150 men of the 9th Battalion took part in one of these raids against a German machine-gun position in this area. Anstey was one of the party.

The raiders had spent some time preparing for the operation. On the night of the raid they were taken in buses to a position "near the firing line, where their faces and hands were blackened and they were given chewing-gum to prevent them from coughing". They quietly dragged ladders and mats into no-man's land, using them to cross the German wire. As they reached the German trenches they were discovered, and heavy fighting followed. The raiding party was eventually forced out and back to its own lines.

At some point in the raid, while crossing no-man's land, Anstey was seriously wounded. His foot was blown off and he sustained a large wound in his right side. He was brought back to his own trenches and taken to the dressing station, but his wounds were so serious that he died before he could be taken any further.

At a memorial service in his local church, the noble and inspiring character of the late Private Anstey was celebrated. The archdeacon pointed out the duty of those present to remember Anstey, intoning the "impressively spoken words, 'don't forget him'".

Charles Anstey's name is listed on the Roll of Honour on my right, along with more than 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 Charles Raby Anstey, and all those Australians who have given their lives in the service of our nation.

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