The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (2218A) Private Isador Steinberg 9th Battalion, AIF, First World War.

Accession Number AWM2016.2.161
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 9 June 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 Richard Cruise, the story for this day was on (2218A) Private Isador Steinberg 9th Battalion, AIF, First World War.

Speech transcript

2218A Private Isador Steinberg 9th Battalion, AIF
KIA 20 April 1916
No photograph in collection

Story delivered 9 June 2016

Today we remember and pay tribute to Private Isador “Issy” Steinberg.

Isador Steinberg was born in 1896 to Jacob and Emma Steinberg in Perth, Western Australia. Growing up, he attended Perth State School and later, Perth Modern School. He was an excellent student with an outstanding academic record. He was also a gifted sportsman, captaining the school’s football team during the winter months and playing cricket in the summer. He also played baseball and was a noted runner and swimmer.

In 1909 Steinberg joined the Young Australia League and quickly gained regard among his peers. He became a motivator for many of the league’s activities, which ranged from academic to sporting.

Steinberg became a member of the first league band, playing the soprano cornet. He was selected to be a member of the league’s All-Australian Band, but had to withdraw before the tour began.

In 1914 Steinberg’s parents moved the family to Brisbane. After briefly working as a clerk, he enlisted on 30 July 1915, joining the 25th Battalion. After some initial training, he embarked that September with the 4th reinforcements to the 25th Battalion aboard the transport ship Armadale.

Arriving in Egypt in November, Steinberg underwent several months of training in the desert sands. At the end of February 1916 he was transferred to the 9th Battalion and posted to C Company. The battalion sailed for France at the end of March.

By 19 April the battalion was in reserve billets near Rouge-de-Bout, one mile behind the front line in the Armentières or “nursery” sector. Intermittent artillery fire was landing nearby.

Early the next afternoon, tragedy struck when the battalion’s C Company billets were heavily shelled. One shell landed outside a canvas tent, wounding four soldiers. As men went to assist, another shell landed among them, killing several and wounding others. A further shell hit a brick wall of a nearby billet, causing another 47 casualties. The company was decimated, with 50 wounded and 25 men killed, one of whom was Steinberg. Several other men would die from their wounds over the ensuing days.

Steinberg and the other fallen men of C Company were laid to rest in the Rue-Du-Bacquerot (13th London) Graveyard at Laventie. He was 19 years old.

Private Isador Steinberg’s name is listed on the Roll of Honour on my right, among more than 60,000 others from 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 Private Isador Steinberg, who gave his life for us, for our freedoms, and in the hope of a better world.

Michael Kelly
Historian, Military History Section

  • Video of The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (2218A) Private Isador Steinberg 9th Battalion, AIF, First World War. (video)