The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (986) Sergeant William Hudson Carroll, 9th Battalion, AIF, First World War.

Place Europe: France, Nord Pas de Calais, Nord, Lille, Armentieres
Accession Number AWM2016.2.254
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 10 September 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 Charis May, the story for this day was on (986) Sergeant William Hudson Carroll, 9th Battalion, AIF, First World War.

Speech transcript

986 Sergeant William Hudson Carroll, 9th Battalion, AIF
KIA 2 July 1916
No photograph in collection

Story delivered 10 September 2016

Today we remember and pay tribute to Sergeant William Hudson Carroll.

William Carroll was born on 25 April 1884 in Warracknabeal, Victoria, to Dr William Joseph and Aida Carroll. He attended Christian Brothers’ College in East Melbourne, but his father died after a short illness in 1896, and his mother later moved the family to Brisbane.

Before the First World War, Carroll had served for eight years in the Permanent Military Forces with the Royal Australian Artillery, after which he worked as a pastoralist, looking after a sheep farm.

He enlisted in Brisbane on 11 September 1914, soon after war was declared, joining the newly raised 9th Battalion. After basic training he embarked as a lance corporal from Brisbane on 24 September aboard the transport ship Omrah.

On arriving in Egypt the 9th Battalion assisted in setting up Mena Camp. The men began training and saw much of Cairo and its surrounds. In March the 9th Battalion sailed with the other units of the 3rd Brigade to Lemnos in preparation for the Gallipoli campaign.

Carroll was among the first wave of Australians ashore on Gallipoli in the early hours of 25 April, which happened to be his 31st birthday. During the day he was wounded in his left shoulder and evacuated to Egypt for treatment. The wound proved slight and he was back with the battalion in early May. On his return he was promoted to corporal.

Carroll took part in the defence of the Australian line on 19 May, when an Ottoman counter-attack was repulsed. In late June he was wounded for a second time when shrapnel caused a nasty wound to his right leg. He was again evacuated to Egypt where he took some time to fully recover.

Carroll returned to Gallipoli in October, but the 9th Battalion was soon withdrawn and sent to Lemnos to rest. Here, on 4 December, Carroll was promoted to sergeant

The 9th Battalion returned to Egypt in early January 1916. With the expansion of the AIF, members of the 9th Battalion marched out to form the 49th Battalion, and those who remained were tasked with training new reinforcements. In late March the battalion sailed for France and by May was in the front line near Armentières.

In June Carroll volunteered to take part in a trench raid being organised by Captain Maurice Wilder Neligan. The men trained for several weeks and made numerous night-time forays into no man’s land to familiarise themselves with their plan of attack.

On the night of 1 July the raid took place. Carroll, in the centre party, was involved in the capture of numerous weapons, pieces of equipment, and prisoners. When the signal to retire was given, the Australians and their prisoners made their way back towards the Australian lines. As Carroll reached the German wire, he was shot in the chest and was killed instantly. He was 32 years old.

His body was brought back to the Australian lines and the following day he and the other Australian killed in the raid were taken and laid to rest in the Rue–Du–Bois Military Cemetery at Fleurbaix.

Carroll’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.

This is just one of the many stories of service and sacrifice told here at the Australian War Memorial. We now remember Sergeant William Thomas Carroll, 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 (986) Sergeant William Hudson Carroll, 9th Battalion, AIF, First World War. (video)