The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of Lieutenant Joseph Garnet Dangerfield, 6th Battalion, AIF, First World War

Place Middle East: Ottoman Empire, Turkey, Dardanelles, Gallipoli, Cape Helles Area, Krithia
Accession Number PAFU2015/182.01
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 6 May 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 Richard Cruise, the story for this day was on Lieutenant Joseph Garnet Dangerfield, 6th Battalion, AIF, First World War.

Speech transcript

Lieutenant Joseph Garnet Dangerfield, 6th Battalion, AIF
KIA 8 May 1915
Photograph: P06424.005 (standing, second from left)

Story delivered 6 May 2015

Today we remember and pay tribute to Lieutenant Joseph Garnet Dangerfield, who died during the First World War.

Joseph Dangerfield was born in January 1888 in north Melbourne, the third son of Edwin and Janet Dangerfield. Joseph attended school and the Central Business College in Melbourne, and worked for various media and publishing organisations as a clerk and commercial traveller. Joseph was also active in the Senior Cadets and had spent one and a half years in the Yarra Borderers, a Victorian militia unit. Perhaps it was this military experience that encouraged Joseph to enlist on the 18th of August 1914, just a few weeks after the declaration of war.

At 26, Joseph was appointed second lieutenant in the 6th Battalion. He left Australia for Egypt in November 1914 on HMAT Hororata. In February 1915 Joseph was promoted to lieutenant, and was given command of No. 3 Platoon, A Company. In April the 6th Battalion left Egypt for Gallipoli, where it formed part of the second wave in the beach landings of 25 April. Several days later, the battalion was part of a larger Australian and New Zealand contingent transferred to Cape Helles at the southern tip of the Gallipoli peninsula. Its men were to take part in an attack against the town of Krithia, a Turkish stronghold that had been the objective of the British on the first day of the landings.

The 6th Battalion was ordered into action at 5.30 pm on 8 May. The objective was to form the front line of an attack against the enemy trenches, with the ultimate goal to take the hill to the rear of the town. This was a fierce and dangerous advance, recorded in the 6th Battalion’s war diary as being “under very heavy shrapnel, rifle and machine gun fire”. The toll on the Australians was enormous. In just over one hour, 1,000 men of the 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th Battalions had become casualties. Official historian Charles Bean wrote that the attack was “made in the teeth of rifle and machine-gun fire such as Australians seldom again encountered during the war”.

Lieutenant Dangerfield was one of those killed in action on 8 May 1915. On the anniversary of his death in May 1916, his grieving family placed a memorial notice in the local newspaper, stating he would be “remembered for all time”.

Joseph Dangerfield is commemorated at the Cape Helles memorial, a 30-metre-high obelisk visible to ships passing through the Dardanelles. This memorial lists the names of more than 21,000 British, Indian, and Australian troops who died at Helles and elsewhere on the peninsula with no known grave.

Joseph Dangerfield’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 in the First World War. He is pictured today in the photograph by the Pool of Reflection - standing second from the left.

His is just one of many stories of service and sacrifice told here at the Australian War Memorial. We now remember Lieutenant Joseph Garnet Dangerfield and all of those Australians who have given their lives in the service of our nation.

Dr Kate Ariotti
Historian, Military History Section

  • Video of The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of Lieutenant Joseph Garnet Dangerfield, 6th Battalion, AIF, First World War (video)