The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (29167) Gunner William George Tasker, 13th Brigade Australian Field Artillery, First World War

Accession Number PAFU2013/180.01
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 31 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 Andrew Smith, the story for this day was on (29167) Gunner William George Tasker, 13th Brigade Australian Field Artillery, First World War.

Film order form
Speech transcript

29167 Gunner William George Tasker, 13th Brigade AFA
DOW 9 August 1918
No photograph in collection

Story delivered 31 December 2013

Today we remember and pay tribute to Gunner William George Tasker.

William Tasker was the youngest son of David Tasker of Condobolin, New South Wales. He had been a successful rugby player since his school days, when he captained the Newington College team, and in 1914 he was the captain of the Newtown Rugby Team in Sydney. In the period 1913-14 he played six tests with the Wallabies, and had played against and toured America, New Zealand, and Queensland with various teams.

In January 1916 Tasker enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force at the age of 23. He was sent to Gallipoli with the 13th Battalion shortly afterwards. In July 1915, while on the peninsula, he was badly wounded by a bomb blast. Although pieces of the bomb were removed from both feet, he was left able only to "hobble about" through the pain in his legs and did not seem to be improving. He was sent home to Australia and discharged.

However, Tasker still felt he had not seen enough service, and six months later was ready to enlist again. He was rejected by the AIF twice, but on his third try at the enlistment office he was accepted for the artillery. There he worked as a gunner in France through 1917 and into the final year of the war.

On 8 August 1918 Australian and Canadian troops spearheaded a major advance against the Germans near the French city of Amiens. They made almost unprecedented gains, advancing up to nine miles in the course of the day. The artillery had to hurry to pack up their guns and follow the infantry advance to create new positions. The morning after the battle of Amiens, Tasker was working on his gun sights near the village of Harbonnières when a German shell landed near his gun. He was badly wounded in the groin and was quickly given medical attention and put on a stretcher. He was conscious as he was taken away, but did not think he would recover from his wounds. He was right. William Tasker, one of "the best liked men in the battery", died later that day in the Field Dressing Station. He was 26 years old.

His 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 Gunner William George Tasker, and all of those Australians who have given their lives in the service of our nation.

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