The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (1087) Temporary Sergeant John Ulrich Hood 3rd Pioneer Battalion, AIF, First World War

Place Europe: Belgium, Flanders, West-Vlaanderen, Ypres, Zonnebeke
Accession Number PAFU2014/195.01
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 12 June 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 Nicholas Schmidt, the story for this day was on (1087) Temporary Sergeant John Ulrich Hood 3rd Pioneer Battalion, AIF, First World War.

Speech transcript

1087 Temporary Sergeant John Ulrich Hood 3rd Pioneer Battalion, AIF
KIA 15 October 1917
No photograph in collection

Story delivered 12 June 2014

Today we remember and pay tribute to Temporary Sergeant John Ulrich Hood.

John Hood was born on 25 June 1876 in Glenelg, South Australia, to John and Mary Hood. He grew up in the area and attended Prince Alfred College in Adelaide. He went on to qualify as a survey draughtsman and his work took him to Maitland, New South Wales.

In 1901 Hood enlisted for service in South Africa with the 3rd contingent of the New South Wales Imperial Bushmen. He embarked with his unit in March and saw active service in the Transvaal during the closing stages of the war before returning to Australia in May 1902.

He disembarked in Western Australia and settled in the Merriden district, where he took up farming. Hood also joined the Farmers and Settlers Association, and worked his way up to become president of that organisation. He also met Matilda Jackson, and the two began a courtship. They were married in 1904.

Hood enlisted for service with the AIF in February 1916 at Merriden and initially went into camp at Blackboy Hill. From here he was transferred to Campbellfield, Victoria, where he joined the newly raised 3rd Pioneer Battalion. With his previous experience in South Africa, Hood was promoted to corporal in May. In June he embarked with his unit aboard the transport ship Wandilla bound for England.

During a stop at Cape Town, South Africa, Hood went absent without leave overnight. After returning to the ship in the morning, he spent the rest of the voyage under arrest. In England he was court martialled for this, and though he retained the rank of corporal his punishment was the loss of seniority in that rank.

The 3rd Pioneer Battalion was sent in November to the Armentières sector in France. After enduring the terrible winter of 1916–17, the battalion saw their first major action at Messines. Hood was involved in many different tasks, such as digging trenches, mending and improving road and rail systems, and improving fighting positions. The battalion also provided men to support the infantry. After the fighting at Messines, the battalion continued to support the 3rd Division’s operations and was heavily involved in the capture of Broodseinde Ridge.

On 15 October Hood and a party of men were repairing a section of railway line near Zonnebeke. As the party finished its work, a German shell landed amongst the men, killing Wood and another man instantly. Hood was 41 years old.

The two men were initially buried beside the road, but after the war the bodies of the two men were recovered and reinterred in the Potijze Chateau Grounds Cemetery, Ypres.

Hood’s 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 Temporary Sergeant John Ulrich Hood, and all of those Australians who have given their lives in service of our nation.

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