The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (1193) Private Frederick Ernest Wilson, 5th Battalion, AIF, First World War.

Places
Accession Number AWM2016.2.34
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 3 February 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 Richard Cruise, the story for this day was on (1193) Private Frederick Ernest Wilson, 5th Battalion, AIF, First World War.

Speech transcript

1193 Private Frederick Ernest Wilson, 5th Battalion, AIF
DOW 3 May 1915
Photograph: P10607.001

Story delivered 3 February 2016

Today we remember and pay tribute to Private Frederick Wilson, who died while fighting on Gallipoli during the First World War.

Frederick Wilson was born in 1882 to William and Emily Wilson of Hastings on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula. He attended state school in Hastings and afterwards worked at the nearby Forest Grange Stud Farm. He was also an active member of the Victorian Orange Lodge – a fraternity that promoted mainstream Protestant issues such as temperance and Sabbatarianism, and opposed government aid to sectarian schools. He had paraded with the Hastings Battery Victorian Rangers before its disbandment in 1897. He also taught Sunday School at the Holy Trinity Anglican Church for several years before the outbreak of the First World War.

Wilson enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force in September 1914, and after a period of training in Melbourne embarked with a reinforcement group for the 5th Battalion in December 1914. By the time his troopship had departed Melbourne, Ottoman Turkey had already entered the war and Australian and New Zealand troopships had already been diverted to protect British interest in Egypt.

The 5th Battalion participated in the landings on Gallipoli on the morning of 25 April 1915, forming part of the second wave that came ashore at what later became known as Anzac Cove. The plan for the 5th Battalion had been to push towards 400 Plateau and Hill 971, but instead 500 men – including Wilson – were sent into the fighting taking place on Pine Ridge. Isolated pockets of Australian troops dug rifle pits amid growing Turkish resistance in the thick scrub, sustaining a heavy toll.

Wilson was wounded in the stomach during the fighting, and was evacuated to a hospital ship that transported him to Egypt. He was admitted to No. 17 General Hospital in Alexandria, but succumbed to his wounds a week later. Aged 32 at the time of his death, he was buried at Chatby Military and War Memorial Cemetery, where he rests today.

Frederick Wilson’s name is listed on the Roll of Honour on my right, along with more than 60,000 others from the First World War. His photograph is displayed today beside the Pool of Reflection.

This is one of the many stories of service and sacrifice told here at the Australian War Memorial. We now remember Private Frederick Wilson, who gave his life for us, for our freedoms, and in the hope of a better world.

Aaron Pegram
Historian, Military History Section

  • Video of The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (1193) Private Frederick Ernest Wilson, 5th Battalion, AIF, First World War. (video)