The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (14448) Private Charles Douglas Campbell, 14th Field Ambulance, AAMC, First World War

Place Europe: Belgium, Flanders, West-Vlaanderen, Ypres
Accession Number PAFU2014/150.01
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 5 May 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 Meredith Duncan, the story for this day was on (14448) Private Charles Douglas Campbell, 14th Field Ambulance, AAMC, First World War.

Film order form
Speech transcript

14448 Private Charles Douglas Campbell, 14th Field Ambulance, AAMC
DOW 23 September 1917
No photograph in collection

Story delivered 5 May 2014

Today we remember and pay tribute to Private Charles Douglas Campbell.

Charles Campbell was born in September 1890 in Leeds, Yorkshire, to William and Annie Campbell. He was brought up in the Leeds area and attended the local council school. After leaving school he became a leather worker, and at the age of 18 he joined the local territorial Royal Army Medical Corps unit, in which he served for four years.

In 1913 at the age of 22 Campbell left home and immigrated to Australia. He took up residence at 691 Balmain Road in Leichhardt, Sydney, and found work as a railway porter.

Campbell's new beginning in Australia was interrupted by the outbreak of the First World War. With his previous experience in the British Territorial Army, he enlisted for service in the Australian Army Medical Corps on 3 December 1915. After his initial training, he embarked aboard the transport ship Wiltshire in August 1916. In England he went into camp at Parkhouse for further training before being sent to the Western Front.

He was sent to France in November and after nearly a month at the Australian Base Details Depot was briefly seconded to the 15th Field Ambulance before joining the 14th Field Ambulance in December.

Campbell quickly gained a reputation as a comedian, entertaining his unit with his comedy sketches during concert parties. His cheerful nature made him a popular member of his unit.

When the 5th Division advanced on Bapaume in February 1917 Campbell and his unit were involved as stretcher-bearers, collecting the wounded as the advance continued. After a brief respite he was again collecting casualties in the thick of the fighting during the Second Battle of Bullecourt in May.

The 5th Division returned to the front line in September during the Third Battle of Ypres, replacing the 1st Division following the battle of Menin Road on 20 September. On 23 September, while carrying out his duties as a stretcher-bearer, Campbell was seriously wounded by shell fragments during a German bombardment. He was taken to the 17th Casualty Clearing Station, where he died from multiple shrapnel wounds to his abdomen and limbs. He was laid to rest in Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery.

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 Private Charles Douglas Campbell, and all of those Australians who have given their lives in service of our nation.

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