The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (2230) Private Thomas Harold Mummery, 24th Battalion, AIF, First World War

Place Europe: France, Picardie, Somme, Albert Bapaume Area, Pozieres Area, Pozieres
Accession Number PAFU2014/401.01
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 22 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 Charis May, the story for this day was on (2230) Private Thomas Harold Mummery, 24th Battalion, AIF, First World War.

Film order form
Speech transcript

2230 Private Thomas Harold Mummery, 24th Battalion, AIF
KIA 26 August 1916
No photograph in collection

Story delivered 22 October 2014

Today we remember and pay tribute to Private Thomas Harold Mummery.

Tom Mummery was born in 1894 in Myrtleford, Victoria, to Walter and Elizabeth Mummery. Little is known of his early life, but once he finished school he was employed by the Victorian Railways. He was a booking clerk at the Wangaratta Railway Station for three years, and then worked as a senior clerk.

This “courteous and obliging official” left his position to enlist in the Australian Imperial Force in July 1915. After a period of training he was sent overseas for active service, arriving in Egypt in time for Christmas. He joined the rest of the AIF as it was evacuated from Gallipoli, and after a period of reorganisation and training, during which time he was posted to the 24th Battalion, Mummery was sent to France, arriving in March 1916.

Mummery was a popular member of his battalion, both in and out of the line. In August the 24th Battalion participated in the fighting around the French village of Pozières and the nearby Mouquet Farm.

In late August his battalion was in the front line when his company commander called for volunteers to be stretcher-bearers. Tom was one of the volunteers. His friend Lieutenant Pittard wrote that “he was continually risking his life in the humane work of carrying the wounded”. In fact, Mummery met his death “while searching, amidst a hail of enemy artillery, for a wounded man lying out in No Man’s Land”.

Pittard wrote to Mummery’s parents to say, “He was idolised by the Company, and while he has been taken from us, we still have his magnificent self-sacrifice as an incentive to us in the future.”

Private Wild, Tom’s best mate, who had been with him since leaving Australia, also wrote to his parents. He said that when Tom was mortally wounded his last words were: “Tell mother I died getting our wounded men in.” Wild added, “It is a dreadful war, and we won’t be sorry when it is all over and we are on our way back to our loved ones.”

Private Tom Mummery was buried in the field where he was killed. His body was later moved and today his grave is in the nearby Pozières British Cemetery.

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.

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

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