The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (1533) Sergeant Robert Minney Inwood, 10th Battalion, AIF, First World War.

Place Europe: France, Picardie, Somme, Albert Bapaume Area, Pozieres Area, Pozieres
Accession Number AWM2016.2.107
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 16 April 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 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 Charis May, the story for this day was on (1533) Sergeant Robert Minney Inwood, 10th Battalion, AIF, First World War.

The recording for this Ceremony is damaged and not suitable for release to public.

Film order form
Speech transcript

1533 Sergeant Robert Minney Inwood, 10th Battalion, AIF
KIA 24 July 1916
Photograph: H06023

Story delivered 16 April 2016

Today we remember and pay tribute to Sergeant Robert Minney Inwood.

Robert Inwood was born in Renmark, South Australia, to Mary Ann and Edward Inwood. He was the third of five sons, and grew up in Broken Hill, where he attended the Government Central School. He was a member of the local cadets and later the Citizens’ Forces, and was a keen participant in athletics competitions. He, like several of his brothers, went on to work in the Broken Hill mines.

Robert Inwood was one of four Inwood brothers to enlist for service in the Australian Imperial Force during the First World War. He enlisted in December 1914 and was posted to the 10th Battalion, like his eldest brother, Roy. The following February he sailed from Port Melbourne on board the troopship Runic.

Private Inwood arrived on Gallipoli in early May 1915. Little is known of his service there, although he received a couple of minor reprimands for neglecting his duty. He left the peninsula around November 1915 and was working on the island of Mudros when he was promoted to temporary sergeant, a rank that was confirmed in early 1916.

Back in Tel-el-Kebir Camp in Egypt, Sergeant Inwood wrote to his mother:

I am still in the best of health and spirits … I have been promoted to sergeant and while we are in the rest camps we have a mess, so that we live all right. We do not know how long we will be in the rest camp … I hope it will not be long before we are in action again, for it is no good in the rest camps. They work us day and night.

Inwood arrived in France in April, and nearly four months later he finally had a chance to go back into action.

On 23 July the 10th Battalion participated in an operation to capture the French village of Pozières. During the attack the Australians came under heavy fire from two German trenches to the north-east of the village. Sergeant Inwood was among a party of men under Lieutenant Arthur Blackburn that went forward to help comrades pinned down under enemy fire. Blackburn crept out into no man’s land a number of times, but each time the men with him were killed or wounded. Eventually, he and Inwood crept out together and cleared a heavily defended German trench. Lieutenant Blackburn would later receive the Victoria Cross for his courage and dogged determination during the attack.

Sergeant Inwood did not survive the attack: he was killed in action, aged just 21. His battalion’s commanding officer, Stanley Price Weir, later wrote to Inwood’s parents, saying:

your late son, Sergeant Robert Inwood, was one of the bravest men I ever met. Had he lived, he would no doubt have received high honour, for many of his gallant deeds both on Gallipoli and in France were worthy of acknowledgement, and his name was on several occasions mentioned in my despatches to our General.

Inwood’s older brother, Corporal Roy Inwood, also of the 10th Battalion, went on to win the Victoria Cross himself in 1917.

Robert Inwood’s body was not recovered from the battlefield until 1929, when it was found near the site of the bomb fight with grenades still in his pockets. He was reinterred in a nearby military cemetery under the words, “A call to duty; ’twas nobly done. In doing that duty, a crown was won.”

When Arthur Blackburn spoke of his Victoria Cross action at a public reception in Adelaide in 1918 he described Inwood as one of the finest friends he had ever had.

Inwood’s name is listed on the Roll of Honour on my right, among more than 60,000 Australians who died while serving in the First World War. His photograph is displayed today beside the Pool of Reflection.

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

Dr Meleah Hampton
Historian, Military History Section