The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (22007) Gunner George Lucas Drennan, 27th Australian Field Artillery Battery, First World War.

Accession Number AWM2016.2.284
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 October 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 Troy Clayton, the story for this day was on (22007) Gunner George Lucas Drennan, 27th Australian Field Artillery Battery, First World War.

Film order form
Speech transcript

22007 Gunner George Lucas Drennan, 27th Australian Field Artillery Battery
KIA 16 October 1917
No photograph in collection

Story delivered 10 October 2016

Today we remember and pay tribute to Gunner George Lucas Drennan.

George Drennan was born on 13 August 1885 to John and Ann Drennan. His mother was Scottish and his father was Irish. The pair had met and married in Greenock, Scotland, and migrated to Australia around 1880. John Drennan spent time working on farms in the Clare district before taking up a farm of his own near Balaklava. George was born in Clare shortly before the move. His mother died in February 1900, and, with the farm struggling to make money, his father sent his daughters out to service to make ends meet.

John Drennan married the widowed Margaret Longmuir in October 1901. By 1910 land was reaching record high prices, and he was able to sell his property for a huge profit, retiring to Woodville in Adelaide. George remained with the family, and followed his father’s and brother David’s involvement in the Presbyterian Church in Woodville. He eventually moved to Western Australia where he took up farming.

George Drennan tried to enlist in the Australian Imperial Force after the outbreak of war but was turned down for having bad feet. However, with the need for manpower on the rise, enlistment standards were relaxed, and he was accepted for service in the artillery in February 1916. Drennan left Melbourne in May 1916, arriving in England two months later. He was posted to the 7th Field Artillery Brigade and joined them on the Western Front in January 1917.

In April 1917 George’s brother David was killed in action at Bullecourt while serving with the 48th Battalion. Two months later George was badly gassed and spent several weeks in hospital and later on light duties recovering. He returned to his battalion in July 1917.

In October 1917 Drennan’s battery was operating in support of the Australian infantry near the Belgian town of Ypres. After several days’ heavy work the batteries were subjected to severe shelling by the Germans. The war diary reports that “Gunners … were careless of danger, being concerned only in maintaining as many guns as possible of the batteries in action”. They suffered a large number of casualties as a result. One of those killed was Gunner George Lucas Drennan. He was later buried in the Brandhoek New Military Cemetery Number Three. He was 32 years old.

His 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 but one of the many stories of service and sacrifice told here at the Australian War Memorial. We now remember Gunner George Lucas Drennan, who gave his life for us, for our freedoms, and in the hope of a better world.

Dr Meleah Hampton
Historian, Military History Section

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