The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (QX7572) Sapper Amor Herbert Farr, 2/13 Field Company, Royal Australian Engineers, Second World War

Place Asia: Borneo, Tarakan
Accession Number PAFU2014/191.01
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 8 June 2014
Access Open
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945
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 Craig Berelle, the story for this day was on (QX7572) Sapper Amor Herbert Farr, 2/13 Field Company, Royal Australian Engineers, Second World War.

Film order form
Speech transcript

QX7572 Sapper Amor Herbert Farr, 2/13 Field Company, Royal Australian Engineers
KIA 8 June 1945
No photograph in collection

Story delivered 8 June 2014

Today we remember and pay tribute to Sapper Amor Herbert Farr.

“Bert” Farr was the eldest of six children. He and his twin sister, Cath, were born on 21 November 1911 in Cloncurry, north-west Queensland. Little is known about his early life, except that he was a “Jack of all trades”. Before the war, Farr had worked on the Queensland sugar cane fields and in the timber mills, and was recognised in his service record as a classified carpenter and joiner.

Farr enlisted in the 2nd AIF in Cairns in May 1940. In November, a week before his 29th birthday, Farr embarked for overseas service with the 2/7th Field Company as one of the 6th Division engineers. He left behind his young wife, Phylis, and daughter, Judith, who was not yet two years old.

Farr served throughout the Libyan campaign and the eight-and-a-half-month siege of Tobruk. He also saw service in Syria before being transferred to the 9th Division at El Alamein. He was among the last troops to leave the Middle East for return to Australia.

He was home only briefly before being deployed to New Guinea, where he contracted malaria, and was evacuated back to Australia to recover and convalesce. Farr returned to his unit in time to take part in the 9th Division’s landing at Tarakan in Borneo.

On 8 June 1945 members of the 2/13 Field Company were preparing for an anticipated attack from Japanese forces. Farr was among one of the small teams sent out to lay booby traps, and while setting out one of the charges it accidentally detonated. Farr was killed instantly. His platoon commander, Lieutenant William Neilson Wensley, described Farr as having met a “soldier’s end”.

Farr’s army mates had called him “Tom”, after the Welsh boxer Tommy Farr, who claimed the heavyweight championship title in 1937. His “cheerful ways” made him popular and among the best liked in the platoon. Farr was highly esteemed and credited as being essential to the company’s success. His death was deeply felt by his fellow engineers, NCOs, and officers, and his funeral service was well attended. He was buried at the Labuan War Cemetery, Borneo.

Bert had been with Phylis on leave in Cairns only a week before the news of his death reached her. Shortly after, she would discover that she was pregnant with their second child, Michael. Mrs Farr never remarried.

Bert Farr’s name is listed on the Roll of Honour on my left, along with some 40,000 others from the Second World War.

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

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