The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (3470) Corporal Arthur G. Thomas, 6th Battalion (Infantry), First World War

Accession Number PAFU2013/146.01
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 27 November 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 Blanch, the story for this day was on (3470) Corporal Arthur G. Thomas, 6th Battalion (Infantry), First World War.

Film order form
Speech transcript

3470 Corporal Arthur G. Thomas, 6th Battalion
KIA 8 June 1918
No photograph in collection

Story delivered 27 November 2013

Today we remember and pay tribute to Corporal Arthur G. Thomas.

Arthur Thomas was born in Liverpool, England, in 1878. After immigrating to Australia he and his family settled in Melbourne. He did not marry, and at the outbreak of the war he was managing a tailoring business. He left to enlist in the Australian Imperial Force in July 1915.

Thomas was posted to the 11th reinforcements to the 6th Battalion. He was first sent to Egypt, and arrived while the AIF was undergoing a period of reorganisation and training. After several months he was sent to France to fight on the Western Front. Private Thomas wrote home regularly to his widowed mother and sisters during his time at war.

On 1 January 1917, after 18 months of service and having experienced trench warfare on the Western Front at Pozières and Mouquet Farm, Thomas wrote:
1916 the diabolical came to its bloody end at last: ... another year of hideous smashing waste & cruel foolery ... let us hope 1917 will be a year of rejoicing amongst the peoples of the earth ... I have done for my country all that a man can do, so I am satisfied.

In early 1917 Thomas was promoted to corporal and spent a period detached for duty as an instructor with the 2nd Training Battalion. He rejoined his battalion in May, having just missed the heavy fighting at Bullecourt. In early 1918 Thomas once again spent some time as an instructor, but rejoined his battalion in time to see action during the German Spring Offensive in March and April. On 8 June 1918 the 6th Battalion had been in the front line near Strazeele. It had conducted some successful raids into the German lines and captured some valuable information from enemy packs. They were in the process of being relieved when Corporal Thomas was killed. Little is known of the manner of his death, and his body was never recovered. Today he is commemorated on the Villers-Bretonneux memorial to the missing, and here.

The name of Arthur G. Thomas is listed on the Roll of Honour on my right along with more than 60,000 others from the First World War.

This is one of the many stories of courage and sacrifice told here at the Australian War Memorial. We now remember Corporal Arthur G. Thomas and all those Australians who have given their lives in the service of our nation.

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