The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (1993) Private Bert Bramwell Sampson, 44th Battalion, AIF, First World War.

Place Europe: Belgium, Flanders, West-Vlaanderen, Broodseinde
Accession Number PAFU2015/419.01
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 October 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 Joanne Smedley, the story for this day was on (1993) Private Bert Bramwell Sampson, 44th Battalion, AIF, First World War.

Film order form
Speech transcript

1993 Private Bert Bramwell Sampson, 44th Battalion, AIF
KIA 4 October 1917
No photograph in collection

Story delivered 9 October 2015

Today we remember and pay tribute to Private Bert Bramwell Sampson.

Born in Broken Hill in New South Wales, Sampson later moved with his family to Boulder City, a town bordering Kalgoorlie in the Western Australian goldfields. He attended Boulder Central School, and was working as a clerk to the mayor of Boulder when the First World War broke out.

Sampson was a member of the Salvation Army, and prior to enlisting had helped raise money to set up a roll of honour for those from the congregation who were serving with the AIF. The honour roll was erected in the Boulder Salvation Army Hall.

Enlisting at the age of 22 in February 1916, Sampson was initially assigned to the 51st Battalion, and sailed for Britain with his unit in July. While in training there he was transferred to the 44th Battalion, which formed part of the 11th Brigade of the 3rd Australian Division.

Sampson and his unit arrived in France on 27 November. Despite being hospitalised with bronchitis, he was back with his unit when it entered the front-line trenches of the Western Front for the first time on 29 December. He was wounded in action three days later, and was sent to England, where he spent eight months recuperating, and consequently missed his battalion’s first major battle, fought at Messines in Belgium between 7 and 10 June.

In the summer of 1917 the 44th Battalion was heavily employed in the Ypres sector as part of the major British offensive known as the Third Battle of Ypres. The battle comprised a series of limited and costly offensives, often undertaken in the most difficult of waterlogged conditions due to frequent rains and the destruction of the area’s lowlands drainage systems by intense artillery bombardment.

The battle of Broodseinde Ridge on 4 October was one of those offensives. The 44th Battalion was part of the operation, which called upon 12 divisions to capture the high ground around the village of Broodseinde. The assault was successful, but this came at great cost: among the 6,500 Australian casualties was Private Sampson, who was killed in action. No details exist of how he died, but he was buried near the village of Passchendaele. His grave was later lost during the continued fighting, and he is commemorated on the Menin Gate Memorial to the Missing at Ypres.

Two years after his death, poignant tributes to Private Bert Sampson appeared in the local newspaper. One read:

Two sad years have now gone past
Since our great sorrow fell,
And in our hearts we mourn the loss of Bert,
We loved so well.
A soldier! Yes, and a hero too!
He played his part, through and through;
His actions speak, though his voice is still.
Forget him? No, we never will.”

Sampson’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 Bert Bramwell Sampson and all those Australians who have given their lives in the service of our nation.

Emma Campbell
Writer, Military History Section

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