The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (418496) Pilot Officer Gladstone Arthur A’Court, No. 467 Squadron, RAAF, Second World War

Place Europe: Germany
Accession Number PAFU2014/468.01
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 8 December 2014
Access Open
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945
Copyright Item copyright: © Australian War Memorial
Creative Commons License This item is licensed under CC BY-NC
Copying Provisions Copy provided for personal non-commercial use
Description

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 Craig Blanch, the story for this day was on (418496) Pilot Officer Gladstone Arthur A’Court, No. 467 Squadron, RAAF, Second World War.

Speech transcript

418496 Pilot Officer Gladstone Arthur A’Court, No. 467 Squadron, RAAF
KIA 22 June 1944
No photograph in collection

Story delivered 8 December 2014

Today we pay tribute to Pilot Officer Gladstone Arthur A’Court, who was killed on active service with the Royal Australian Air Force in 1944.

Born in the Melbourne suburb of Clifton Hill on 16 July 1920, Gladstone Arthur A’Court was the son of Arthur and May A’Court. Prior to his enlistment in the Royal Australian Air Force on 22 May 1942, A’Court worked as a clerk in Melbourne and served in the 10th Field Ambulance of the Militia.

Beginning training as a navigator, A’Court embarked in Brisbane for overseas service in October 1942. As part of the Empire Air Training Scheme he was one of almost 27,000 RAAF pilots, navigators, wireless operators, gunners, and engineers who joined Australian and British squadrons in Britain throughout the course of the war.

Before arriving in Britain, A’Court was one of many Australian airmen who undertook part of their training in Canada under the Empire Air Training Scheme. Arriving in Britain in April 1943, A’Court undertook further specialist training before being posted to No. 467 Squadron, Royal Australian Air Force.

As part of Bomber Command, No. 467 Squadron flew the four-engined Avro Lancaster heavy bomber.

It was on the night of 21 June 1944 that the Lancaster ED 352 A’Court was navigator, was shot down by flak while taking part in a raid on Gelsenkirchen. All of A’Court’s Australian and British crewmembers were killed.

His remains are buried – side by side with the rest of his crewmates – in the British and Commonwealth Reichswald Forest War Cemetery in Germany. He was 23 years old.

In a letter to A’Court’s father, the commander of No. 467 Squadron wrote that the squadron had lost a great navigator “whose characteristic skill and courage inspired us all and he will indeed be sadly missed”.

A’Court’s name is listed on the Roll of Honour on my left, along with around 40,000 Australians killed in the Second World War.

This is but one of the many stories of courage and sacrifice told here at the Australian War Memorial. We now remember Pilot Officer Gladstone Arthur A’Court, and all of those Australians – as well as our Allies and brothers in arms – who gave their lives in the hope for a better world.

Lachlan Grant
Historian, Military History Section

  • Video of The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (418496) Pilot Officer Gladstone Arthur A’Court, No. 467 Squadron, RAAF, Second World War (video)