The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (516) Squadron Quartermaster Sergeant Frederick Dudley Melville, 3rd Light Horse, First World War

Place Middle East: Ottoman Empire, Transjordan, Amman
Accession Number PAFU2014/332.01
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 4 September 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 Troy Clayton, the story for this day was on (516) Squadron Quartermaster Sergeant Frederick Dudley Melville, 3rd Light Horse, First World War.

Film order form
Speech transcript

516 Squadron Quartermaster Sergeant Frederick Dudley Melville, 3rd Light Horse
DOD 15 October 1918
No photograph in collection

Story delivered 4 September 2014

Today we remember and pay tribute to Squadron Quartermaster Sergeant Frederick Dudley Melville.

Frederick Melville was born on 14 March 1891 to Frederick and Mary Melville in Wirrabara, South Australia. He was the second of five children born to the couple and the only son. He grew up in Jamestown and attended school there. He followed his father, a noted forest conservator, into the Woods and Forests Department of South Australia and was stationed with his father at Bundaleer Forest.

On 14 August 1914 Melville enlisted for service in the AIF at Morphettville, joining the 3rd Light Horse Regiment. After his initial training he embarked with his unit aboard the transport ship Port Lincoln, arriving in Egypt in December.

The 3rd Light Horse Regiment was one of several light horse units sent to the peninsula in May to reinforce the infantry on Gallipoli. After a brief period in the front line at Pope’s Post, the 3rd Light Horse was moved to rest positions in Monash Gully, where in late May Melville was wounded in the right shoulder, most likely by shrapnel from a bursting shell. After initial treatment, he was evacuated to Malta.

He returned to Gallipoli in August and was promoted to lance corporal in October. His service on Gallipoli came to an end, however, when he contracted enteric fever and was once again evacuated to Malta.

With no improvement in his health, Melville was sent home to Australia in January 1916 for a better chance at recovery. After spending several months at hospital in
Keswick, Adelaide, he was discharged and left in mid-June for service in the Middle East.

Back in Egypt Melville was sent forward to re-join his regiment, arriving shortly after the battle of Romani. He was promoted to corporal the following month. He took part in the battle of Maghdaba in December, and was promoted to sergeant in January 1917 following the capture of Rafa. Soon after, Melville attended the Imperial School of Instruction in Zeitoun, Egypt. He passed with a mark of 90 per cent.

Back with his regiment, Melville took part in the unsuccessful second battle of Gaza in April and the capture of Beersheba at the end of October, after which he was promoted to temporary squadron quartermaster sergeant. Melville took part in the capture of Gaza in December before being detached for duty in Moascar, Egypt. He returned to his regiment mid-1918 as his unit took part in the advance towards Amman.

In early October Melville was evacuated with malaria. Listed as dangerously ill on the 15th, Melville died later that day, and was buried in the Jerusalem War Cemetery. He was 27 years old.

Following the war, the Imperial War Graves Commission asked next-of-kin to add epitaphs to the graves of their fallen soldiers. Melville’s parents wrote, simply:

Melville’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 Squadron Quarter Master Sergeant Frederick Dudley Melville, and all of those Australians who have given their lives in service of our nation.

  • Video of The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (516) Squadron Quartermaster Sergeant Frederick Dudley Melville, 3rd Light Horse, First World War (video)