The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (VX8242) Private John Samuel Wade, 2/27th Battalion, AIF, Second World War.

Place Middle East: French Mandate for Syria and Lebanon, Lebanon, Adloun
Accession Number PAFU2015/433.01
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 23 October 2015
Access Open
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945
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 Troy Clayton, the story for this day was on (VX8242) Private John Samuel Wade, 2/27th Battalion, AIF, Second World War.

Speech transcript

VX8242 Private John Samuel Wade, 2/27th Battalion, AIF
KIA 11 June 1941
No photograph in collection

Story delivered 23 October 2015

Today we remember and pay tribute to Private John Samuel Wade.

Jack Wade was born on 3 October 1907 in Renmark, South Australia. He was the youngest of seven boys, who, with their three sisters, grew up in Berri. Their father, William Wade, was one of the earliest fruit-growers to use irrigation in the Berri district. His original block of land was acquisitioned by the government to be the location of the town of Berri itself, and he took an adjacent block. In 1913 Wade’s father built the original Berri Hotel and was its first licensee. Wade’s mother died in 1922, his father in 1934.

Jack Wade became a silversmith, but he was better known as a sportsman. All of the Wade boys were known for their sporting ability, and Jack was perhaps the best. He was a particularly good footballer, and with his brother Steve was recommended for a place in the Port Adelaide football team in the South Australian National Football League. He was their ruckman for the 1928 premiership team, and went on to play for South Melbourne in the Victorian Football League for several seasons. He also represented South Australia in interstate matches against Victoria and Western Australia. Wade was also a talented badminton player, and represented Victoria in several tournaments.

The Wade family also had a strong tradition of serving Australia in wartime. Three of Wade’s older brothers served in the First World War, and though all three survived, his brother Ted was permanently incapacitated by wounds he received. Five of the seven brothers enlisted in the Second World War, including Jack. He enlisted in the second AIF on 14 May 1940 and was posted to the 2/27th Battalion with his brother Bill. After a period of training the battalion moved to Egypt.

In April and May 1941 Wade’s battalion bolstered defences along the Egypt–Libya border by occupying positions at Maaten Bagush and Matruh. After a period of training in Palestine the battalion conducted its first major offensive operation in the invasion of Syria and Lebanon, beginning on 8 June.

Three days later the 2/27th Battalion engaged the enemy near the village of Aadloun, and during the battle Private Jack Wade was killed in action. Little is known of the manner of his death. His body was recovered, and today he is buried in the Sidon War Cemetery. He was 33 years old.

A month after the news of his death reached Australia players of the Port Adelaide and South Adelaide teams held a pre-game ceremony in honour of former players Jack Wade and Lloyd Rudd, who had also been killed in action.

Their names are listed on the Roll of Honour on my left, among some 40,000 Australians who died during the Second 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 John Samuel Wade, and all those Australians who died in the service of their nation.

Dr Meleah Hampton
Historian, Military History Section

  • Video of The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (VX8242) Private John Samuel Wade, 2/27th Battalion, AIF, Second World War. (video)