The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (756) Private Clive Henry Marcusen, 9th Battalion, AIF, First World War

Place Europe: France, Nord Pas de Calais, Pas de Calais, Bethune, Laventie
Accession Number PAFU2015/235.01
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 15 June 2015
Access Open
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 (756) Private Clive Henry Marcusen, 9th Battalion, AIF, First World War.

Speech transcript

756 Private Clive Henry Marcusen, 9th Battalion, AIF
KIA 20 April 1916
No photograph in collection

Story delivered 15 June 2015

Today we remember and pay tribute to Private Clive Henry Marcusen.

Clive Marcusen was born on 6 February 1893 in Herberton, Queensland, to John and Henriette Marcusen, one of five boys. Little is known about his early life, except that his mother passed away suddenly in 1907 and the family moved to Rockhampton. He attended school in Rockhampton and served for several years with the senior cadets.

Marcusen was working as a clerk when the First World War began. He was among the first wave of men in Rockhampton to enlist for service with the 9th Battalion, which was being raised in Brisbane. He was sent there to join the battalion, and underwent initial training. Short and stocky, he gained a reputation among his mates as someone who was always happy and was much liked as a result.

The 9th Battalion embarked for Egypt aboard the transport ship Omrah on 24 September 1914. Arriving in November, Herbert began several months of training in the desert before his battalion was transferred to Lemnos in March 1915 to prepare for the Gallipoli campaign.

Marcusen was among the first wave of troops ashore in the pre-dawn hours of 25 April. At some stage during the day he was shot in the left buttock, and over the next two days was evacuated back to Egypt. It is likely that his brother Ernest, who had also enlisted with the 9th Battalion and had embarked with the 4th reinforcements, was able to visit Clive in hospital before he too was sent to Gallipoli.

It wasn’t until mid-July that Clive re-joined the 9th Battalion and Ernest on Gallipoli. Clive had only been back for a matter of weeks before he was evacuated to Lemnos, this time with a hernia. He would not return to the peninsula, and it was the last time the two brothers would serve together.

Clive re-joined the 9th Battalion on Lemnos in December. Following a period of rest and reinforcement, the battalion sailed for France at the end of March 1916. By 19 April the 9th Battalion was in reserve billets near Rouge-de-Bout, one mile behind the front line in the Armentières or “nursery” sector. Intermittent artillery fire was landing nearby.

Tragedy struck early in the afternoon of 20 April when the battalion’s C Company billets were heavily shelled. One shell landed outside a tent, wounding four soldiers; and as men went to assist, another shell landed among them, killing several men and wounding others. A further shell hit the brick wall of a nearby billet, causing a further 47 casualties. The company was decimated, suffering 25 men killed – Marcusen among them – and a further 50 wounded. Several other men would die from their wounds over the ensuing days.

Marcusen and the other fallen men of C Company were laid to rest in the Rue-Du-Bacquerot Graveyard – known as the 13th London – at Laventie. He was 23 years old. His brother Ernest had been evacuated to Australia with dysentery; but another brother, Private Vivian Bruce Marcusen, was killed in Belgium in November 1916.

Clive Marcusen’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 Clive Henry Marcusen, 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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