|Place||Europe: Germany, Berlin|
|Object type||Last Post film|
Australian War Memorial
|Place made||Australia: Australian Capital Territory, Canberra, Campbell|
|Date made||25 March 2016|
Second World War, 1939-1945
Item copyright: © Australian War Memorial
This item is licensed under CC BY-NC
|Copying Provisions||Copy provided for personal non-commercial use|
The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (417779) Warrant Officer Graham Morris Bagshaw, No. 138 Squadron, Royal Air Force, Second World War.
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 Craig Berelle, the story for this day was on (417779) Warrant Officer Graham Morris Bagshaw, No. 138 Squadron, Royal Air Force, Second World War.
417779 Warrant Officer Graham Morris Bagshaw, No. 138 Squadron, Royal Air Force
KIA 14 April 1944
Photograph: P04612.001 (back row, third from right)
Story delivered 25 March 2016
Today we pay tribute to Warrant Officer Graham Morris Bagshaw, who was killed on active service with the Royal Australian Air Force during the Second World War.
Born in the Adelaide suburb of Unley Park on 30 September 1922, Graham Bagshaw was the only child of Clarence Dale and Ella Maud Bagshaw. Before he enlisted in the Royal Australian Air Force in July 1942, aged 19, Bagshaw was employed on the staff of E. Treliving at Light Square in Adelaide, and was a member of the Adelaide Legacy Club.
Bagshaw began training as a wireless operator and an air gunner, and in November 1943 he embarked for overseas service. As part of the Empire Air Training Scheme, he was one of almost 27,500 RAAF pilots, navigators, wireless operators, gunners, and engineers who joined squadrons based in Britain throughout the course of the war.
He journeyed to Britain via North America. Included in his travels was a visit to the Anzac Club in New York in January 1944, which was reported in the Australian press.
After further specialist training in England Bagshaw was posted to No. 138 Squadron, Royal Air Force, then part of Bomber Command. The squadron was equipped with a four-engine Avro Lancaster heavy bomber, and Bagshaw joined a crew of six British airmen.
On 14 April the Lancasters of No. 138 Squadron were taking part in a raid on Potsdam near Berlin. Not far from the target area, Bagshaw’s aircraft was shot down, and all souls aboard were killed.
Graham Bagshaw was 22 years old. His mother did not receive confirmation of his death until November, eight months after the incident. In a letter to Bagshaw’s mother the commander of No. 138 Squadron wrote:
..during the time that Warrant Officer Bagshaw has been with this squadron he has made many friends, and has accomplished very valuable work in the cause of freedom. I would like to assure you how much we honour the gallant sacrifice he has made so far from his home.
Bagshaw is buried with his fellow crewmates at the British and Commonwealth war cemetery in Berlin. His name is listed on the Roll of Honour on my left, among some 40,000 others from the Second World War. His photograph is displayed today beside the Pool of Reflection where can be seen in the back row, third from the right.
This is but one of the many stories of service and sacrifice told here at the Australian War Memorial. We now remember Warrant Officer Graham Morris Bagshaw, who gave his life for us, for our freedoms, and in the hope of a better world.
Dr Lachlan Grant
Historian, Military History Section
Video of The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (417779) Warrant Officer Graham Morris Bagshaw, No. 138 Squadron, Royal Air Force, Second World War. (video)