The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of Captain Alfred John Shout VC MC 1 Battalion, AIF, First World War

Place Middle East: Ottoman Empire, Turkey, Dardanelles, Gallipoli
Accession Number PAFU2014/230.01
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 July 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 Captain Alfred John Shout VC MC 1 Battalion, AIF, First World War.

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Speech transcript

Captain Alfred John Shout VC MC 1 Battalion, AIF
DOW 11 August 1915
Photograph: G01028

Today we remember and pay tribute to Captain Alfred John Shout VC MC.

Shout was born on 8 August 1882 in Wellington, New Zealand, to John and Agnes Shout. He was the eldest of nine children and the only boy.

In 1900 he joined a New Zealand Army Contingent bound for service in South Africa. Upon arrival in Cape Town he joined the newly raised Border Horse unit. He saw extensive service with this unit and over the next year was promoted to sergeant. He was also wounded twice and Mentioned in Despatches for leadership and bravery under fire. The unit disbanded in May 1901 and Shout went on to serve in several other units. When the war ended in 1902 he remained in South Africa.

He joined the South African Army in 1903 and served as a sergeant with Prince Alfred’s Own Cape Field Artillery. During this time Shout met an Australian woman, Rose Alice Howe. They married in Cape Town in early 1905 and the couple’s daughter was born in June.

The Shout family immigrated to Australia that year, settling in the Sydney suburb of Darlington. Shout found work as a carpenter and joiner and also joined the citizens’ forces 29th Infantry Regiment, gaining a reputation as a fine rifle shot and an excellent leader.

At the outbreak of the First World War Shout applied for a commission in the AIF and was accepted as a second lieutenant in the 1st Battalion. In October he embarked with the battalion aboard the transport ship Afric, arriving in Egypt in December. In February Shout was promoted to lieutenant.

On 25 April Shout went ashore as part of the second wave of troops on Gallipoli and distinguished himself by his bravery and leadership. Two days later, at Walker’s Ridge, Shout was involved in holding off determined Turkish counter-attacks. He had been wounded earlier in the day, but remained on duty. On being wounded twice more he had to be forced to leave the front line. For his actions he was awarded the Military Cross. He was wounded again in May and was mentioned in General Sir Ian Hamilton’s despatches. In July Shout was promoted to captain.

Shout was prominent during several attacks at the battle of Lone Pine. In the afternoon of 9 August, after leading attacks all morning, Shout led a small party of men down a length of trench held by the Turks, forcing them to retreat. In the last rush he lit three bombs; he managed to throw two, but the third exploded prematurely, blowing off a hand and wounding him in the face and body. He was still cheerful and encouraging his men as he was being taken away from the front line.

He was taken to the hospital ship Neuralia, where he succumbed to his injuries on 11 August and was buried at sea. Shout was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions at Lone Pine.

His name is listed on the Roll of Honour on my right, along with around 60,000 others from the First World War, and his photograph is displayed today 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 Captain Alfred John Shout VC MC, and all of those Australians who have given their lives in service of our nation.

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