The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (6945A) Private James Shugg, 23rd Battalion, First World War

Place Europe: France, Picardie, Somme, Amiens Harbonnieres Area, Hamel Area, Hamel
Accession Number PAFU2014/158.01
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 13 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 Copy provided for personal non-commercial use

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 Robyn Siers, the story for this day was on (6945A) Private James Shugg, 23rd Battalion, First World War.

Speech transcript

6945A Private James Shugg, 23rd Battalion
DOW 4 July 1918
No photograph in collection

Story delivered 13 May 2014

Today we remember and pay tribute to Private James Shugg.

James Shugg was the eldest son of Paul and Margaret Shugg of Gardenvale, Victoria. He was born near Goroki, and after his basic schooling attended Stotts Business College and became a bank accountant.

James was the third son of Paul Shugg to enlist for service in the Australian Imperial Force. On 2 March 1917 his younger brother Leonard enlisted, followed by Paul on 15 March. Three weeks later James, too, enlisted in the AIF. All three brothers were posted to different units; Leonard to the artillery, Paul to the 22nd Battalion, and James to the 23rd Battalion.

James Shugg initially went to Egypt, spending around six weeks at Suez at the very end of 1917. While en route to England he became ill with some kind of infectious disease and had to be dropped off at Cherbourg in France for hospitalisation in isolation. He eventually arrived in camp at Fovant in Wiltshire in February 1918. It took another four months for him to join his battalion on the Western Front.

On 4 July 1918 the 23rd Battalion participated in an Australian operation on the French village of Hamel. The battalion captured all of its objectives after encountering no serious German opposition or counter-attacks. But although the battalion suffered few casualties in the operation, there was always danger from random artillery shells; either Australian shells falling short or German shells lobbed into the new Australian positions.

One of these shells landed near Private James Shugg at some point that first day. Severely wounded in the abdomen and right arm, he was taken to the 6th Australian Field Ambulance Dressing Station for treatment, but died on arrival. He was 25 years old.

James's brothers both survived the war, but not untouched. Leonard was repatriated back to Australia after being severely wounded in 1916. Paul remained with his battalion until September 1918, weeks before the end of the war, when he too was wounded. Paul returned to Australia in January 1919. James is now buried in the St Pierre Cemetery at Amiens, France.

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 James Shugg, and all of those Australians who have given their lives in the service of our nation.

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