The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (821) Private Alfred Cakebread, 25th Battalion, First World War

Place Middle East: Ottoman Empire, Turkey, Dardanelles, Gallipoli
Accession Number PAFU2015/041.01
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 1 February 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 Jana Johnson, the story for this day was on (821) Private Alfred Cakebread, 25th Battalion, First World War.

Speech transcript

821 Private Alfred Cakebread, 25th Battalion
KIA 27 October 1915
No photograph in collection

Story delivered 1 February 2015

Today we remember and pay tribute to Private Alfred Cakebread.

Alfred Cakebread was born in Bow in London, one of a family of four boys. He came to Australia when he was 21, probably with his youngest brothers George and John, after the death of his parents. Life in Queensland was hard for the newly-arrived Alfred, and he spent time travelling between plantations working for scanty wages in poor conditions. He wrote scathing letters to the Labor Party press about conditions on sugar plantations to the newspapers, saying “the truth is that the conditions of labour are so disgusting that local men will only go to some mills as a last resource”. After some time in Australia he became more successful, and was a dairy farmer when the First World War began. He left his occupation to enlist in the Australian Imperial Force in February 1915 at the age of 26.

Cakebread was posted to the 25th Battalion, raised in Queensland about six months earlier. He went into training in Australia and then in Egypt. On 11 September 1915 the 25th Battalion arrived at Anzac Cove, where the Australians had been for nearly five months. They managed to land reasonably safely, with only one casualty, and soon went into the front line to work on improving trenches and strengthening their position.

Although the major offensives were over for the Australians on the Gallipoli peninsula, the position of the 25th Battalion was by no means safe, and it suffered regular casualties during its time there. On 27 October it came under heavy Turkish shelling and several men were killed. One of these was Private Alfred Cakebread. He was visiting the cookhouse in Reserve Gully when a Turkish shrapnel shell burst nearby and killed him and Private Armstrong, also of the 25th Battalion. Cakebread had been on Gallipoli just over one month.

His name is listed on the Roll of Honour to my right, along with more than 60,000 other names from the First World War.

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

Dr Meleah Hampton
Historian, Military History Section

“Plantation life”, Brisbane Worker, 1 July 1911, p.19.
25th Battalion War Diary, September 1915: AWM4 23/42/5.

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