The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (2828A) Private John Thomas Reed 9th Battalion, AIF. First World War.

Place Europe: France
Accession Number PAFU2015/438.01
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 28 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 , the story for this day was on (2828A) Private John Thomas Reed 9th Battalion, AIF. First World War.

Film order form
Speech transcript

2828A Private John Thomas Reed 9th Battalion, AIF
KIA 20 April 1916 No photograph in collection
Story delivered 28 October 2015

Today we remember and pay tribute to Private John Thomas Reed.

John Thomas Reed was born in June 1893 to John and Elizabeth Reed in Gravesend, Kent, in England. As a young adult he worked locally as a casual butcher, and at some point in the next few years he immigrated to Australia. At the outbreak of the First World War he was working as a labourer in Rockhampton, Queensland.

Reed enlisted in Rockhampton on 27 August 1915, joining the 25th Battalion. He was transferred to Brisbane, and after some initial training embarked with the 6th reinforcements to the 25th Battalion aboard the transport ship Seang Bee.

Reed arrived in Egypt in December and underwent several months of training in the desert sands. At the end of February 1916 he was transferred to the 9th Battalion, and was posted to C Company. The battalion sailed for France at the end of March.

In April Reed’s 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.

Early in the afternoon of 20 April tragedy struck when the battalion’s C Company billets were heavily shelled. One shell landed outside a canvas tent, wounding four men. As men went to assist, another shell landed among them, killing several and wounding others. A further shell hit a brick wall of a nearby billet, causing a further 47 casualties. C Company was decimated, with 50 men wounded and 25 killed, one of whom was Reed. Several other men would die from their wounds over the ensuing days.

Reed and the other fallen men of C Company were laid to rest in the Rue-Du-Bacquerot (13th London) Graveyard at Laventie. He was 23 years old.

Reed’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 John Thomas Reed, and all of those Australians who have given their lives in service of our nation.

Michael Kelly
Historian, Military History Section

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