The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (3344) Private Charles Gordon Maynard, 52nd Battalion (Infantry), First World War

Accession Number PAFU2014/037.01
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 6 February 2014
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 Troy Clayton, the story for this day was on (3344) Private Charles Gordon Maynard, 52nd Battalion (Infantry), First World War.

Film order form
Speech transcript

3344 Private Charles Gordon Maynard, 52nd Battalion
KIA 5 April 1918
No photograph in collection

Story delivered 6 February 2014

Today we remember and pay tribute to Private Charles Maynard of the 52nd Battalion, who was killed in France during the First World War.

Charles Maynard was born in 1897, the third of five children to John and Jessie Maynard of Gympie, Queensland. He was in the Senior Cadets at Gympie High School, and paraded with the local Citizens' Military Force Light Horse Regiment before the family moved to Brisbane, where he worked as a clerk for the Union Bank. At the age of 19 in May 1917, Charles enlisted in the AIF with his parents' consent, following in the footsteps of his older brother Howard, who enlisted in 1915 and was serving in France. After a period of training, Charles left Australia with the 8th reinforcements of the 42nd Battalion, bound for the training camps in England.

Like all Australian reinforcements destined for the fighting on the Western Front, Charles spent several months training at Hurdcott on the Salisbury Plain in preparation for the battalion's departure to France. Arriving there in March 1918, Charles was sent to reinforce another Queensland unit, the 52nd Battalion, which had not been brought up to strength since the fighting at Third Ypres in Belgium.

No sooner had Charles joined his new unit than the German army launched a massive offensive that overran the British positions on the Somme. The 52nd Battalion was among a number of Australian units rushed south from Belgium to blunt the German advance on Amiens, having taken up positions along the railway embankment overlooking the village of Dernancourt. On 5 April 1918 three German divisions attacked the two understrength Australian brigades at Dernancourt; among them troops of the 52nd Battalion. The Germans overran the Australian positions and captured the railway embankment, but an Australian counter-attack blunted their advance on Amiens.

Private Charles Maynard was among the 52nd Battalion's dead, killed on 5 April 1918. Little is known about the circumstances of his death other than that his remains were found in a temporary grave along the railway embankment overlooking Dernancourt. In 1925, Charles Maynard was reinterred at the Bouzincourt Ridge Cemetery near Albert, where he rests today.

Charles Maynard is listed on the Roll of Honour on my right, along with 60,000 other Australians killed in the First World War. There is no photograph in the collection to display beside the Pool of Reflection.

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

  • Video of The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (3344) Private Charles Gordon Maynard, 52nd Battalion (Infantry), First World War (video)