The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (148) Trooper Gerald Francis Gray, 10th Light Horse Regiment, First World War

Accession Number PAFU2014/131.01
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 21 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 Copy provided for personal non-commercial use
Description

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 Dennis Stockman, the story for this day was on (148) Trooper Gerald Francis Gray, 10th Light Horse Regiment, First World War.

Speech transcript

148 Trooper Gerald Francis Gray, 10th Light Horse Regiment
KIA 25 May 1915
No photograph in collection

Story delivered 21 April 2014

Today we remember and pay tribute to Trooper Gerald Francis Gray.

Gerald Gray was the youngest son of James and Elizabeth Gray, born in Aldgate, South Australia, in 1885. His mother died when he was ten years old, and his much older siblings played an important part in his childhood. Gray was educated at the Aldgate Valley State School, following which he went to Western Australia with his two elder brothers to take up farming. Gray was described as "a fine horseman and splendid axeman".

Gerald enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force in December 1914. In offering his services he was following in the footsteps of his father and his grandfather, both of whom served in the Boer War. Gerald had also tried to enlist for the South African War, but had been turned down for being underage. Finally old enough to go to war, in 1914 Gray was posted to the 10th Light Horse Regiment and left Australia with the first contingent.

The Light Horse regiments were originally considered unfit for service on Gallipoli because the terrain was unsuitable for their horses. But in May 1915 a decision was made to send them in unmounted to provide much-needed reinforcement for the infantry at Anzac Cove. On 19 May the 10th Light Horse Regiment, on board SS Lutzow, anchored off the shore of Anzac Cove and remained on board in sight of land for a day or so while waiting for the Turkish shelling of the beach and boats to subside. They disembarked at 5 pm on 21 May.

The 10th Light Horse was quickly put to work, first in constructing dugouts as protection against shrapnel and then in collecting and burying the dead during the armistice of 24 May. While the regiment was in and around Monash Valley, providing working parties and holding positions such as Quinn's Post, Private Gerald Gray was killed, probably as the result of sniper fire. He was the first man recorded as killed in the war diary of the 10th Light Horse Regiment.

The red-haired, blue-eyed Gerald Francis Gray was buried in Shrapnel Valley Cemetery. He was 29 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. 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 Trooper Gerald Francis Gray, 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 (148) Trooper Gerald Francis Gray, 10th Light Horse Regiment, First World War (video)