The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (5557) Corporal George Thomas Blore 21st Battalion, AIF, First World War.

Place Europe: France, Picardie, Somme, Bapaume Cambrai Area, Bullecourt
Accession Number AWM2016.2.124
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 May 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

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 (5557) Corporal George Thomas Blore 21st Battalion, AIF, First World War.

Speech transcript

5557 Corporal George Thomas Blore 21st Battalion, AIF
KIA 3 May 1917
Photograph: P08512.001

Story delivered 3 May 2016

Today we remember and pay tribute to Corporal George Thomas Blore.

George Blore was born in 1880 in Heyfield, Victoria, to George and Sarah Blore. He was one of a large family born to the couple. He attended Traralgon Public School, after which he worked in the public service as a clerk for the Closer Settlement Board. He also became a qualified electrician.

Blore married Esther Grace Lyons in 1904, and the following year a son, Trevor, was born. Blore attempted to enlist not long after the outbreak of the First World War, but was rejected due to ill health. He was successful on his second attempt on 22 December 1915 and was posted to the 22nd Depot Battalion. He undertook a signals course, and by May 1916 had been promoted to acting company sergeant major. His employer had wanted him to enlist for home duties, but Blore declined: he wanted to serve abroad.

In August Blore was allotted to the 15th reinforcements to the 21st Battalion and reverted to private. He embarked from Melbourne aboard the transport ship Shropshire that September, at which point his wife was pregnant with their second child.

After arriving in England Blore underwent further training, and in January 1917 he sailed for France and joined the 21st Battalion. His first experience of the front line came in February when the battalion occupied the trenches at the Butte de Warlencourt. By March George had been promoted to corporal, and his battalion was involved in following up the Germans as they withdrew to prepared positions behind the Hindenburg Line.

In the early hours of 3 May a second attempt was made to capture Bullecourt, as part of the final effort of the British Army’s Arras offensive. The Australians broke into the German line, but met determined resistance. At some point during the day, Blore disappeared. In the ensuing investigation Private Walter Clifford stated:

It was during the advance at Bullecourt … Captain Jones and myself were going over the battle field after the fight to find our missing, and we discovered Casualty with a machine-gun bullet in his left shoulder and one in the head. He was buried by Captain Jones and myself where we found him.

Corporal Blore was listed as having been killed in action on 3 May 1917. He was 36 years old.

Following his death, Blore’s brother Alfred, already a returned Gallipoli veteran, re-enlisted and went to France in an attempt to locate his brother’s body, but to no avail. In 1917 Blore’s wife gave birth to a daughter, Vivienne.

Blore’s name is listed on the Australian National Memorial at Villers-Bretonneux. It also appears on the Roll of Honour to 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 but one of the many stories of service and sacrifice told here at the Australian War Memorial. We now remember Corporal George Thomas Blore, who gave his life for us, for our freedoms, and in the hope of a better world.

Michael Kelly
Historian, Military History Section

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