The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (1917) Private John Bowman, 9th Battalion, AIF, First World War

Place Europe: France
Accession Number PAFU2014/399.01
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 20 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 Stuart Baines, the story for this day was on (1917) Private John Bowman, 9th Battalion, AIF, First World War.

Film order form
Speech transcript

1917 Private John Bowman 9th Battalion, AIF
KIA 20 April 1916
No photograph in collection

Story delivered 20 October 2014

Today we remember and pay tribute to Private John Bowman.

John Bowman was born in 1881 in Greymouth, New Zealand, to John and Mary Bowman. He was educated at Greymouth State School. After leaving school, he undertook a three-year apprenticeship and qualified as a tailor. He also served for six months with his local militia infantry battalion. He immigrated to Australia in 1905 settling in Lismore, New South Wales.

On 15 January 1915, Bowman enlisted for service in the AIF. He was initially allotted to the infantry reinforcements before he was transferred to Brisbane, where he joined the 5th reinforcements to the 9th Battalion.

He embarked from Brisbane with his unit aboard the transport ship Kyarra in April, bound for Egypt. After several months’ training he was sent to Gallipoli, joining the 9th Battalion at the end of July.

He remained on Gallipoli until the 9th Battalion was withdrawn to Lemnos in November. The battalion returned to Egypt in January 1916 to further rest and reinforce before sailing for France in March.

By April the men of the 9th Battalion were in reserve billets near Rouge-de-Bout, one mile behind the front line of the Armentières sector. Intermittent artillery fire was landing nearby, and early in the afternoon of 20 April C Company’s billets were heavily shelled.

One shell landed outside a canvas tent, wounding four soldiers. As men went to assist, another shell landed, killing several men and wounding others. A further shell hit the wall of the billet, causing a further 47 casualties. One of the men killed was Private Bowman. The company was decimated, with 25 men killed and a further 50 wounded.

Later that day Bowman and the others were laid to rest in the Rue-Du-Bacquerot (13th London) Graveyard at Laventie.

Bowman’s name is listed on the Roll of Honour on my right, along with more than 60,000 others from the First World War.

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

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