The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (2827A) Private Alfred Henry Richardson 9th Battalion, AIF, First World War

Place Europe: France, Nord Pas de Calais, Nord, Lille, Armentieres
Accession Number PAFU2015/109.01
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 9 March 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 Charis May, the story for this day was on (2827A) Private Alfred Henry Richardson 9th Battalion, AIF, First World War.

Speech transcript

2827A Private Alfred Henry Richardson 9th Battalion, AIF
KIA 20 April 1916
No photograph in collection

Story delivered 9 March 2015

Today we remember and pay tribute to Private Alfred Henry Richardson.

Alfred Richardson was born in 1889 to Sidney and Minnie Richardson of Queanbeyan, New South Wales. Little is known of his early life, but by the outbreak of the First World War he was working as a bank clerk in Charleville, Queensland.

Richardson enlisted on 19 August 1915, joining the 25th Battalion. He was then transferred to Brisbane, where he underwent some initial training. In October he embarked from Brisbane with the 6th reinforcements to the 25th Battalion aboard the transport ship Seang Bee.

After disembarking in Egypt in December, Richardson underwent several months of training in the desert sands. At the end of the following February he was transferred to the 9th Battalion, and was posted to C Company. The battalion sailed for France at the end of March.

By mid-April the 9th Battalion was in reserve billets near Rouge-de-Bout, one mile behind the front line in the Armentieres sector. Intermittent artillery fire was landing nearby.

Early in the afternoon of 20 April the battalion’s C Company billets were heavily shelled. One shell landed outside a canvas tent, wounding four soldiers; as men went to assist, another shell landed among them, killing several men and wounding others. A further shell hit a brick wall of a nearby billet, causing a further 47 casualties. C Company was decimated, with 50 men wounded and 25 killed, one of whom was Richardson. He was 27 years old.

Later that day the fallen men of C Company were laid to rest in the Rue-Du-Bacquerot (13th London) Graveyard at Laventie. Several other men would die from their wounds over the ensuing days.

Richardson’s 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 service and sacrifice told here at the Australian War Memorial. We now remember Private Alfred Henry Richardson, and all of those Australians who have given their lives in service of our nation.

Michael Kelly
Historian, Military History Section

  • Video of The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (2827A) Private Alfred Henry Richardson 9th Battalion, AIF, First World War (video)