The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (1516) Driver Martin Henry Farrington, 110th Australian Howitzer Battery, AIF, First World War.

Place Europe: Belgium, Flanders, West-Vlaanderen, Messines
Accession Number AWM2016.2.2
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 2 January 2016
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 Charis May, the story for this day was on (1516) Driver Martin Henry Farrington, 110th Australian Howitzer Battery, AIF, First World War.

Speech transcript

1516 Driver Martin Henry Farrington, 110th Australian Howitzer Battery, AIF
KIA 14 June 1917
No photograph in collection

Story delivered 2 January 2016

Today we remember and pay tribute to Driver Martin Henry Farrington.

Martin Farrington was born on 28 October 1895 to Mick and Mary Farrington in Mackay, Queensland. He attended the convent school in Mackay. His childhood was possibly quite difficult, as his father was regularly charged with public drunkenness and his mother died in 1908, when he was 13 years old. In 1910 Martin’s brother Jack and their brother-in-law Peter Tynan were found guilty of murdering Peter’s brother William. They were sentenced to death, which was later commuted to life in prison.

Martin left school early, and went on to work as a carter. Just short of six feet, he was a tall man for his time. He enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force in October 1915, naming his sister, Ellen Tynan, as his next of kin. He was posted to the artillery, and after a short period of training in Australia was sent for service overseas. Farrington arrived in Plymouth in July 1916 and continued training. During the latter part of 1916 he spent time in hospital on a number of occasions, slowing his progress.

Driver Farrington arrived in France in January 1917 and within months was back in hospital. He finally returned to the field in May 1917, and was transferred to the 110th Howitzer Battery.
Life in the artillery was dangerous. The enemy searched constantly for the Australian guns, with the aim of putting them out of action, and the men were handling explosives and other dangerous material on a daily basis.

On 14 June 1917 Farrington’s battery were stationed near Messines in Belgium. A dump of ammunition sat nearby in order to supply the guns, and this was hit by a German shell, going up in a massive explosion. Sixteen men were killed outright, and another three died of their wounds. Six other men were wounded.

Driver Farrington was one of those killed in the blast. His name appears on a nearby monument erected by his comrades, and he was buried in Kandahar Farm Cemetery in Belgium. He was 21 years old.

His name is 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 Driver Martin Henry Farrington, and all those Australians who have given their lives in the service of our nation.

Dr Meleah Hampton
Historian, Military History Section

  • Video of The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (1516) Driver Martin Henry Farrington, 110th Australian Howitzer Battery, AIF, First World War. (video)