The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (858) Private Hugh Cupit, 10th Australian Light Trench Mortar Battery, AIF, First World War.

Place Europe: Belgium, Flanders, West-Vlaanderen, Broodseinde
Accession Number PAFU2015/498.01
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 8 December 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 Copy provided for personal non-commercial use
Description

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 Meredith Duncan, the story for this day was on (858) Private Hugh Cupit, 10th Australian Light Trench Mortar Battery, AIF, First World War.

Speech transcript

858 Private Hugh Cupit, 10th Australian Light Trench Mortar Battery, AIF
KIA 4 October 1917
No photograph in collection

Story delivered 8 December 2015

Today we remember and pay tribute to Private Hugh Cupit.

Hugh Cupit was born in 1889, one of seven children of George and Hannah Cupit of Deniliquin, New South Wales. He was educated at the local public school. His father worked for the municipal council for many years and died in 1911 as one of their oldest employees. Hugh went on to work as a farm hand.

Hugh Cupit and his older brother George enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force together in February 1916. They originally presented for service in Deniliquin, but George was sent to Melbourne for further examination before being accepted. He passed, and both men were posted to the 39th Battalion.

The brothers underwent a period of training, first in Australia and then in England. Hugh transferred to the trench mortar batteries while in England, while his brother remained with the 39th Battalion. George was sent to the trenches of the Western Front late in 1916 where, during a large-scale German raid of their trenches near Ploegsteert on 30 April 1917, he was killed by artillery fire.

Hugh Cupit continued to serve with the 10th Australian Light Trench Mortar Battery. He undertook a training course in August 1917, and rejoined his unit at the end of that month.

On 4 October a large proportion of the AIF participated in the battle of Broodseinde Ridge. The guns of the 10th Light Trench Mortar Battery were divided between several battalions and sent in with the attacking infantry. During the operation they were engaged in firing on enemy pill boxes and machine-gun posts, and in answering calls for help from the infantry. The unit diary reports that “ammunition was expended as fast as it could be brought forward”.

Three men of the 10th Australian Light Trench Mortar battery were killed that day. One of them was Private Hugh Cupit. No record of the manner of his death remains, nor was his body recovered from the battle. Today his name is listed on the Menin Gate memorial to the missing in Ypres. He was 29 years old.

His name is also listed on the Roll of Honour on my right, among more than 60,000 Australians who died during 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 Hugh Cupit, his brother Private George Cupit, and all those Australians who have given their lives in the service of our nation.

Dr Meleah Hampton
Historian, Military History Section

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