The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (740) Sergeant Arthur James Seaman, 12th Battalion, First World War

Place Africa: Egypt
Accession Number PAFU2015/014.01
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 14 January 2015
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 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 Meredith Duncan, the story for this day was on (740) Sergeant Arthur James Seaman, 12th Battalion, First World War.

Speech transcript

740 Sergeant Arthur James Seaman, 12th Battalion
DOD 27 August 1915
No photograph in collection

Story delivered 14 January 2015

Today we remember and pay tribute to Sergeant Arthur James Seaman, who died during the First World War.
Arthur Seaman was born in May 1876, the eldest of the ten children of Elisha and Sarah Seaman of Adelaide, South Australia. Arthur was living with his wife, Ada, and was working as manager of the Adelaide Concrete Works when war was declared on 4 August 1914. Exactly one month later, Arthur enlisted in the AIF.

Arthur had several years’ experience in the colonial militia forces, and was given the rank of Sergeant in the 12th Battalion. This battalion was made up of troops drawn from South Australia, Western Australia, and Tasmania. After a period of training, Arthur and the 12th Battalion left Melbourne in September 1914 on HMAT Geelong, and arrived in Egypt in early December. In March 1915, he was admitted to hospital after complications arising from a pre-war operation on his jaw left him unwell.

Arthur recovered enough to be sent to Gallipoli in April 1915. He spent several months in the trenches on the peninsula but in June was suffering from more complications related to his jaw. He was admitted to the No. 3 Auxiliary Hospital in Heliopolis in early August 1915, where it was decided he should be invalided home to Australia.

Arthur left Suez on HMAT Themistocles on 15 August 1915. It is not known whether he had contracted dysentery before leaving Egypt, but on 27 August he succumbed to the disease and died.

Today Arthur is commemorated on the Chatby Memorial in the Egyptian city of Alexandria. This memorial was established after the war to commemorate some 1,000 First World War Commonwealth servicemen who were buried or lost at sea.

Two of Arthur’s brothers also served with the AIF during the war. One returned home to Australia, but Corporal Walter Batley Seaman was killed in action on Gallipoli in May 1915.

Arthur Seaman’s name is listed on the Roll of Honour to my right, along with the names of more than 60,000 other Australians who died fighting in the First World War.

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

Dr Kate Ariotti
Historian, Military History Section

Sources:
The Advertiser (Adelaide), September 1915.

AIF Service Record: NAA B2455 SEAMAN AJ.

Commonwealth War Graves Commission website: www.cwgc.org.

  • Video of The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (740) Sergeant Arthur James Seaman, 12th Battalion, First World War (video)