The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (556) Corporal Frank Sidney Keable, 4th Battalion Australian Machine Gun Corps, First World War

Accession Number PAFU2014/116.01
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 April 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 Charis May, the story for this day was on (556) Corporal Frank Sidney Keable, 4th Battalion Australian Machine Gun Corps, First World War.

Film order form
Speech transcript

556 Corporal Frank Sidney Keable, 4th Battalion Australian Machine Gun Corps
KIA 28 March 1918
No photograph in collection

Story delivered 6 April 2014

Today we remember and pay tribute to Corporal Frank Sidney Keable.

Frank Keable was born in London on 30 September 1892 to George and Frances Keable. He attended the Holy Trinity School in Wimbledon, which was attached to the church in which he was baptised. Frank came to Australia at the age of twenty, at the same time as his elder brother George. In 1913 they were living together in Toowong, Brisbane. A year later they were joined by their parents, who emigrated with the rest of their children in 1914.

After leaving school Frank worked as a car man, which in those days meant delivering goods - usually by horse-drawn cart rather than by automobile. He enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force in August 1916, aged 23, and was sent overseas with the 9th reinforcements to the 13th Machine Gun Company.

Keable first went to England, arriving in February 1917, and underwent further training. As Keable joined his company in the field in April 1917 it was preparing for the attack on Messines Ridge in Belgium. The company used Vickers machine-guns, which usually fired into the battlefield from a distance to support the infantry advance.

Eight guns of the 13th Machine Gun Company went into the operation, and only four came out; 27 men became casualties, although only two were killed. Private Frank Keable was one of these casualties - shot in the face on 9 June. The wound was not too serious, however, and he was soon able to rejoin his unit. Two months later he was promoted to corporal. In the following months he would spend time on training courses, and on leave to Paris.

In March 1918 the 13th Machine Gun Company was in the field near the French village of Dernancourt. Keable was on a gun team with his mate Charles Croker and Private Charles Anderson. The valley the company was in came under heavy German shell-fire in the afternoon, with only two Australians killed. Those two men were Corporal Frank Keable and Private Charles Anderson, killed by the same shell. The two men were buried side by side in the field. Frank Keable was 25 years old.

Frank Keable's family wanted him to be remembered for his service to his new country. For years afterward they inserted the following in the paper: "He rose responsive to his country's call; he gave his best, his life, his all."

His name is listed on the Roll of Honour on my right, along with more than 60,000 others from the First World War. There is no photograph in the Memorial's collection to display 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 Corporal Frank Sidney Keable, and all of those Australians who have given their lives in the service of our nation.

  • Video of The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (556) Corporal Frank Sidney Keable, 4th Battalion Australian Machine Gun Corps, First World War (video)