The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (3346) Private Walter Bradley Kay, 15th Battalion, AIF, First World War

Place Europe: France, Picardie, Somme
Accession Number PAFU2014/307.01
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 23 August 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 Dennis Stockman, the story for this day was on (3346) Private Walter Bradley Kay, 15th Battalion, AIF, First World War.

Film order form
Speech transcript

3346 Private Walter Bradley Kay, 15th Battalion, AIF
KIA 9 August 1916
No photograph in collection

Story delivered 23 August 2014

Today we remember and pay tribute to Private Walter Kay, who was killed in France in the First World War.

Walter Kay was born in 1888, and was one of six children of Charles and Elanor Kay of Ayr in Queensland. He became a selector in the Ayr district, and married Nora Humphries in 1909.

Walter enlisted in the AIF in August 1915 and underwent training in Brisbane. He left Australia with the 11th reinforcements to the 15th Battalion, bound for the fighting on Gallipoli. By the time he arrived in Egypt, however, the Gallipoli campaign had ended; Walter spent the following months training in preparation for the fighting on the Western Front.

The first Australian units were redeployed to France as early as March 1916, but Walter was kept in a reserve pool of reinforcements and did not make the journey across the Mediterranean until June 1916. By then the Australians had filed into the trenches near the village of Pozières to take part in their first major action of the Somme campaign. By the time Walter’s battalion arrived on the Somme, the Australians had captured the formidable German defences on the western end of the village.

Walter’s battalion was occupying a position known as Tom’s Cut when the Australians withstood a massive German counter-attack on the night of 6 August 1916, but was subjected to intense bombardment from the Germans in the following days. According to eyewitnesses, it was during one such bombardment on the morning of 9 August that Walter was killed instantly by a German shell that landed directly on Tom’s Cut. He was buried nearby, but owing to the intensity of the German artillery fire in the region his body was never recovered from the battlefield. He was 27.

Walter Kay is one of 10,700 Australians killed in the fighting in France whose remains have no known grave; as such he is commemorated on the Australian National Memorial at Villers-Bretonneux.

His name is listed on the Roll of Honour on my right, along with around 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 one of the many stories of courage and sacrifice told here at the Australian War Memorial. We now remember Private Walter Kay, and all of those Australians who have given their lives in service of our nation.

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