The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (402960) Sergeant Edwin George Enright, No. 72 Squadron, Royal Air Force, Second World War.

Place Europe: France
Accession Number AWM2016.2.278
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 4 October 2016
Access Open
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945
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 (402960) Sergeant Edwin George Enright, No. 72 Squadron, Royal Air Force, Second World War.

Speech transcript

402960 Sergeant Edwin George Enright, No. 72 Squadron, Royal Air Force
KIA 8 December 1941
No photograph in collection

Story delivered 4 October 2016

Today, we pay tribute to Sergeant Edwin George Enright, who was killed on active service with the Royal Air Force during the Second World War.

Born in the small town of Bruthen near Bairnsdale in the East Gippsland region of Victoria, Edwin Enright was the son of Edwin Patrick Enright and Eileen Mary Enright. Growing up, he attended Bruthen Central School before attending Essendon High School in Melbourne. A keen sportsman, Enright was a boxer; he played cricket, Australian football, and tennis, and was involved in swimming and riding.

Following his schooling, Enright passed his exams at Melbourne University to become a school teacher. Before commencing his teaching career, he spent a year in Queensland and the Northern Territory.

On Remembrance Day 1940 Enright enlisted in the Royal Australian Air Force. He soon commenced training as a pilot and in July 1941 embarked in Sydney for overseas service, first to Canada, then Britain. As part of the Empire Air Training Scheme, Enright was one of almost 27,500 RAAF pilots, navigators, wireless operators, gunners, and engineers, who, throughout the course of the war, joined squadrons based in Britain.

Enright arrived in Vancouver in March 1941 and undertook further specialist training in Canada before embarking for Britain the following July. There he was posted to No. 72 Squadron, Royal Air Force, which was equipped with Spitfires.

On 8 December 1941 Enright took off for a sweep over northern France, flying as part of Biggin Hill Wing. Ten miles over the French coast, enemy aircraft were sighted and engaged. As the attack was broken off, Enright’s Spitfire and the Spitfire accompanying him were attacked by a squadron of Messerschmitt 109Es. The accompanying Spitfire saw nothing more of Enright and radio contact was lost.

Sergeant Enright had been killed in action. He was 29 years old.

His body was not recovered, and his name is commemorated upon the Air Forces Memorial overlooking the River Thames which lists all British and Commonwealth airmen with no known grave.

Enright’s name is listed on the Roll of Honour on my left, among some 40,000 Australians who died while serving in the Second World War.

This is but one of the many stories of service and sacrifice told here at the Australian War Memorial. We now remember Sergeant Edwin George Enright, 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 (402960) Sergeant Edwin George Enright, No. 72 Squadron, Royal Air Force, Second World War. (video)