The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (349) Private Robert Evans Munckton 3rd Battalion, AIF, First World War

Place Middle East: Ottoman Empire, Turkey, Dardanelles, Gallipoli
Accession Number PAFU2015/031.01
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 31 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

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 Berelle, the story for this day was on (349) Private Robert Evans Munckton 3rd Battalion, AIF, First World War.

Speech transcript

349 Private Robert Evans Munckton 3rd Battalion, AIF
KIA 6–12 August, 1915
No photograph in collection

Story delivered 31 January 2015

Today we remember and pay tribute to Private Robert Evans Munckton.

Robert Evans Munckton was born on 12 May 1895 to Henry and Mary Munckton at Dubbo, New South Wales. He grew up there and attended Dubbo District Primary School. At the end of 1904 his father died after a long illness. Robert continued to study hard and went on to All Saints’ College at Bathurst, and it was towards the end of his schooling that the First World War began.

Robert Munckton, aged 19, enlisted on 17 August 1914 and was posted to 9 Platoon, B Company, in the newly raised 3rd Battalion. After several months of training he embarked with his battalion aboard the transport ship Euripides, arriving in Egypt in early November.

His letters to his mother were always upbeat. Even in what must have been very trying conditions in the Egyptian desert, he spared his mother any of his own discomfort, instead telling her that he was well looked after and that the work was good for his and the other men’s physiques. The 3rd Battalion left Egypt in early April, bound for Imbros Island in preparation for the Gallipoli campaign.

Robert landed with the 3rd Battalion after 5.30 am on 25 April; the sounds of the fighting inland would have spurred the men on as they were rowed to the shore. Robert took part in all of the 3rd Battalion’s early actions on Gallipoli. His letters home were still cheerful and he spared his mother the details of war. In one of his last letters home Robert wrote:

We all admire the Turks for their chivalry and determination. We will soon have them beaten, but they fight stubbornly. They are very fair at fighting.

On 6 August the 3rd Battalion was involved in the attack on Lone Pine. The fighting was savage and often hand-to-hand in the confines of the trenches. It was believed that Robert was killed by a bomb, and was buried along with 30 other men in a trench wall.

His body was not initially recovered and there was confusion as to his fate. It wasn’t until June 1916 that the battalion, now in France, held a court of inquiry for men missing on Gallipoli. During these proceedings Munckton was officially declared killed in action between 6 and 12 August 1915.

In 1921 a graves registration unit located the grave where Munckton and a number of other Australians had been buried. It was his identification disc – still on his body – that enabled the graves registration unit to formally identify him. He was then laid to rest in the Lone Pine Cemetery. His identification disc was sent to his mother, her last link with her fallen son.

Robert Evans Munckton is listed on the Roll of Honour on my right, along with the names of more than 60,000 other Australians from 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 Private Robert Evans Munckton, and all those Australians who have given their lives in the service of our nation.

Michael Kelly
Historian, Military History Section

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