The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of Lieutenant Arthur Edward Carse, 16th Battalion, First World War

Accession Number PAFU2014/397.01
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 18 October 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 Richard Cruise, the story for this day was on Lieutenant Arthur Edward Carse, 16th Battalion, First World War.

Film order form
Speech transcript

Lieutenant Arthur Edward Carse, 16th Battalion
DOW 2 May 1915
Photograph: P05772.003

Story delivered 18 October 2014

Today we remember and pay tribute to Lieutenant Arthur Edward Carse.

Arthur Carse was born on 26 December 1892 in Ascot Vale, Victoria, to William and Clara Carse. Little is known of his early life, although he and his family moved to Western Australia at some point during his school years.

As a young man, Carse began his military career with the citizens’ militia, first with the Western Australian Highlanders, where he was promoted to sergeant, and later with the 86th Infantry Regiment.

Carse became a machine-gunner, and was sent to the School of Instruction for Machine Gunners at Randwick in 1912. On his return he was given the rank of second lieutenant and command of the 86th Infantry Regiment’s Machine Gun Section.

In his civilian life Carse worked as a clerk in the records branch of the Department of Mines in Perth. There he proved to be very popular, with a ready wit and a kind nature. It was reported that he was “a man of superior attainment … with a fine character that won for him the admiration and respect of all with whom he made contact”.

Carse was granted a commission in the Australian Imperial Force in October 1914. He was put in command of the Machine Gun Section of the 16th Battalion, and was with the first contingent when it sailed for service overseas.

The 16th Battalion disembarked at Gallipoli the day after the dawn landing. Lieutenant Carse was in charge of one of the first Australian machine-guns to be put ashore. In the days after the landing Carse was organising the position of his guns in the firing line.

He was warning Lieutenant Sykes to conserve his fire and be careful not to expose himself unnecessarily, when Sykes said to Carse, “Right-oh, but you had better get out of here sir … we can’t afford to have you taking chances unless absolutely necessary.” Sykes reported that Carse “laughed in that quiet way of his” before staggering and falling with a gunshot wound to the chest and shoulder.

Severely wounded, he told Sykes that it was all right, and he should not leave his gun. Carse’s men carried him to the beach themselves, unwilling to let a stranger carry him down.

Sykes later told Carse’s parents that “the last words I heard him say before he was carried away were ‘good luck boys’ … he was game; grit right through and a soldier every inch”.

Arthur Carse was evacuated to hospital in Egypt. However, the matron reported that “there was absolutely no hope of his recovery when he was admitted”. He died at 11 pm on 2 May after being unconscious the whole day.

Arthur Edward Carse was buried in the nearby cemetery in Alexandria, and was later Mentioned in Despatches for his good work at Anzac Cove.

He was 22 years old.

His name is listed on the Roll of Honour on my right, along with more than 60,000 others from the First World War. He is pictured in the photograph displayed beside the Pool of Reflection today, middle row, fifth from the right.

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

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