The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (101) Corporal Walter Batley Seaman, 10th Battalion AIF, First World War

Place Middle East: Ottoman Empire, Turkey, Dardanelles, Gallipoli
Accession Number PAFU2015/148.01
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 April 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 Richard Cruise, the story for this day was on (101) Corporal Walter Batley Seaman, 10th Battalion AIF, First World War.

Speech transcript

101 Corporal Walter Batley Seaman, 10th Battalion AIF
KIA 19 May 1915
No photograph in collection

Story delivered 8 April 2015

Today we remember and pay tribute to Corporal Walter Batley Seaman, who died during the First World War.

Walter Seaman was born in January 1891, one of ten children born to Elisha and Sarah Seaman of Adelaide, South Australia. Walter had been an apprentice at a large Adelaide firm that specialised in producing buggies and motor cars, and worked as a wheelwright. He was married with a young daughter when he enlisted in the AIF in August 1914, just a few weeks after the declaration of war.

Walter was assigned to the 10th Battalion as a corporal. In October, he left Adelaide on HMAT Ascanius, and arrived in Egypt in early December. After a period of training at Mena Camp, the 10th Battalion left Egypt in March 1915. They were bound for Lemnos, and were one of the first battalions to land on the beaches of Gallipoli in the early hours of the morning of 25 April.

After several weeks of stalemate on the peninsula, the Turks launched a major offensive designed to dislodge the Anzacs from their trenches and push them back into the sea. At 3 am on 19 May, after an intensive bombardment of Anzac lines the night before, the Turkish infantry started their advance on the Anzac positions. This was to be a costly battle for the enemy forces. The Australians quickly mobilised in defence and, by midday on the 19th, some 10,000 Turkish troops had been killed or wounded.

The 10th Battalion suffered 30 casualties during the attack, including Walter Seaman. The exact particulars of his death were not known, and he was simply reported to have been killed in action. Walter was buried at Shrapnel Valley Cemetery, where he rests today. More than 680 Commonwealth servicemen are buried or commemorated at this cemetery on Gallipoli.

Ella and Millie Seaman deeply mourned their husband and father. They placed In Memoriam statements in the Adelaide newspapers on the anniversaries of his death. One, published in 1918, simply states “A hero he lived, a hero he fell, fighting for those he loved so well.”

Two of Walter’s brothers also served with the AIF during the war. One returned home to Australia, but Sergeant Arthur James Seaman died from disease in August 1915.

Walter 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 Corporal Walter Batley Seaman, and all those Australians who have given their lives in the service of our nation.

Dr Kate Ariotti
Historian, Military History Section

Sources:
www.ancestry.com.

10th Battalion War Diary, March-April 1915: AWM4 23/27/2.

National Archives of Australia, Walter Batley Seaman, attestation papers; “Report of Death of a Soldier”.

C.E.W. Bean, Official history of Australia in the war of 1914–1918, volume II, Angus and Robertson, Sydney, 1921–42, p. 133.

“Duncan & Fraser,” The Register, 15 September 1910.

The Advertiser, 18 May 1918, p. 8.
http://www.cwgc.org/find-a-cemetery/cemetery/68703/SHRAPNEL%20VALLEY%20CEMETERY.

  • Video of The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (101) Corporal Walter Batley Seaman, 10th Battalion AIF, First World War (video)