The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of Lieutenant George Roy McGregor Dey, 10 Battalion, First World War

Accession Number PAFU2013/177.01
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 28 December 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 Lieutenant George Roy McGregor Dey, 10 Battalion, First World War.

Film order form
Speech transcript

Lieutenant George Roy McGregor Dey, 10th Battalion
KIA 23 August 1916
Photograph: P05413.023

Story delivered 28 December 2013

Today we remember and pay tribute to Lieutenant George Roy McGregor Day.

Roy Dey was educated and raised in Adelaide. He worked for the Bank of New South Wales first in Adelaide and then in Kapunda, from where he enlisted in June 1915. Dey entered the 10th Battalion, but instead of joining the battalion as they embarked for Gallipoli he remained behind for some time at Mitcham camp studying for the qualification for a commission - which he obtained in October 1915 - and acting as an instructor in musketry.

In March 1916 he left Australia with the 15th reinforcements to the 10th Battalion. Before he went his wide circle of friends attended a party at his parents' house to say farewell, with flowers in the battalion colours, musical items, and games.

Roy Dey was bound for France and the Western Front. His first major action with the battalion was the battle for the French village of Pozières. This operation was part of the Battle of the Somme and was conducted under some of the heaviest shell-fire seen on the Western Front.

When the 10th Battalion was relieved following the successful capture of the village, Dey was somehow left in the field for four hours after the rest of his battalion. When he was finally relieved and came out of the trenches he discovered that he had been registered as missing. Letters to his family reassured them that all was well.

A month after the first successful attack on Pozières, the 10th Battalion was ordered to attack Mouquet Farm to the north. Once more Roy Dey was reported missing when the battalion came out of the line. This time he was never found.

Exactly what happened to Lieutenant Dey was never firmly established beyond the fact that he was killed in action. The most likely scenario was that he was shot by either a German sniper or a machine-gun shortly after leaving the jumping-off trench to attack the German trenches. Reports were made that Dey had been given medical assistance while lying in a shell hole, but that a bombing attack by a German patrol forced the man giving assistance out of the hole, leaving the probably already fatally wounded Dey behind. He was never seen again. Roy Dey was 25 years old, and has no known grave.

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

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