The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (724) Second Lieutenant Charles Frederick Yeadon, 22nd Battalion, AIF, First World War

Place Europe: France, Picardie, Somme, Albert Bapaume Area, Pozieres Area, Pozieres
Accession Number PAFU2015/305.01
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 July 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 Copyright restrictions apply. Only personal, non-commercial, research and study use permitted. Permission of copyright holder required for any commercial use and/or reproduction.

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 (724) Second Lieutenant Charles Frederick Yeadon, 22nd Battalion, AIF, First World War.

Film order form
Speech transcript

Second Lieutenant Charles Frederick Yeadon, 22nd Battalion, AIF
KIA 5 August 1916
Photograph: DA09035

Story delivered 15 July 2015

Today we pay tribute to Second Lieutenant Charles Frederick Yeadon, who was killed on active service with the Australian Imperial Force in 1916.

Born in the Melbourne suburb of Brunswick, Charles Frederick Yeadon was the son of John Lincoln Yeadon and Elizabeth Yeadon. Known as “Fred”, Yeadon attended Bayswater State School before moving to the Northern Territory with his parents. His father was appointed to a position at the Darwin Botanic Gardens and the Government Experimental Gardens. Charles worked as a mechanical engineer for the Railway Service at Darwin.

Returning to Melbourne, Yeadon served in the Victorian Scottish Regiment of the Militia. At the time of his enlistment in the Australian Imperial Force on 15 February 1915 Yeadon had been working as a mechanical engineer.
Posted to the 22nd Battalion, he embarked in Melbourne for overseas service in aboard HMAT Ulysses in May 1915. He served on Gallipoli, where he met Aubrey Wiltshire and formed a strong friendship. Wiltshire was his company commander and later wrote that “a better NCO it would have been impossible to have. He was not only respected by every one of us, but loved as well.” Wiltshire was instrumental in Yeadon’s gaining a commission in the 22nd Battalion.

Following the evacuation from the Gallipoli peninsula the 22nd Battalion went to France to fight on the Western Front. In early August they conducted their first major operation against the OG Lines at Pozières. The 22nd Battalion suffered heavily. Yeadon was reported leading his men over the top before being caught in unbroken German wire. At the end of the day, Yeadon was missing.

One of his men, Private Adcock, later wrote to Fred’s father to tell him that he had been talking to Fred before the attack: they shook hands, wished one another luck, and went into action. At one point he heard Yeadon calling for more officers when crossing no man’s land. Fred’s friend Captain Wiltshire also wrote:

I fear there is practically no hope of his still being alive … I am proud to think of him as one of my closest friends, and I feel his loss very much, as I used to enjoy nothing so much as a yarn with him.

Lieutenant Yeadon was later posthumously awarded the Military Cross for his work in front of the wire at Pozières. His father would not hear official confirmation of his son’s death for another 12 months. Fred Yeadon was 28 years old when he died.

His name is listed on the Roll of Honour on my right, along with more than 60,000 others from the First World War. His photograph is displayed today beside the Pool of Reflection.

This is but one of the many stories of service and sacrifice told here at the Australian War Memorial. We now remember Second Lieutenant Charles Frederick Yeadon, and all of those Australians who have given their lives in service of our nation.

Dr Lachlan Grant
Historian, Military History Section

Australian War Memorial, Military Cross citation.

“Missing: one of the tragedies of this war”, Northern Territory Times & Gazette, 4 January 1917, p. 19.

“News & notes”, Northern Territory Times & Gazette, 30 August 1917, p. 10.

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