The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (8496923) Lance Corporal Luke Nathan Gavin, 2RAR, Afghanistan.

Accession Number AWM2016.2.315
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 November 2016
Access Open
Conflict Afghanistan, 2001-2021
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 Richard Cruise, the story for this day was on (8496923) Lance Corporal Luke Nathan Gavin, 2RAR, Afghanistan.

Film order form
Speech transcript

8496923 Lance Corporal Luke Nathan Gavin, 2RAR
KIA 29 October 2011
No photograph in collection

Story delivered 10 November 2016

Today we remember and pay tribute to Lance Corporal Luke Nathan Gavin, who was killed while serving in Afghanistan.

Luke Gavin was born in 1982, the son of Michael and Judith Gavin of the Sydney suburb of St Clair. After attending Clairgate Public and St Clair High, Luke went on to Westfields Sports High where he nourished a passion for basketball under the school’s sports program.

After school Gavin he worked as an Assistant Manager at Crazy John’s. He was introduced to Jacky O’Neill by her sister, and the two developed a loving relationship. The couple went on to begin a family, welcoming children Joshua, Holly, and Olivia, and were married in St Clair.

Gavin enlisted in the Australian Army in 2004, and after completing basic and initial employment training was posted as an infantryman to the 2nd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, in Townsville. There he developed into a highly trained and experienced member of the battalion, noted for his professionalism and outstanding specialist skills. Between 2006 and 2010 Gavin deployed to Timor–Leste no fewer than three times with Battle Group Samichon as part of a UN mission to help bring peace and security to the country amid mounting violence. He was recognised for his leadership qualities in January 2009 and promoted to lance corporal. A highly qualified soldier, he completed specialist training as a combat first aider, infantry support weapons operator, and Pashtu linguist.

Gavin deployed to the Uruzgan province of Afghanistan in June 2011 as part of Mentoring Task Force Three. Part of this mission involved mentoring elements of the Afghan National Army so they could take a more active role in combating the Taliban insurgency. The Australian troops were directly involved in combat, frequently clashing with the Taliban in rolling gun battles and encountering improvised explosive devices on an almost daily basis.

On the morning of 29 October 2011 Gavin was part of a routine morning parade at the remote patrol base at Sorkh Bed when a rogue Afghan National Army soldier opened fire on a group of Australians and Afghans, hitting ten and killing three before being brought down. One of the three Australians killed in the incident was Luke Gavin. He was 29 years old. His body was returned to Australia, where hundreds of people turned out to farewell him at a memorial service in Townsville.

Luke Gavin was highly regarded by his superiors for his positive attitude and loyalty. The men who served alongside their mate “Gav” remember him for his dedication, professionalism, and mateship. He was a dedicated husband and father, brother and son. Time has not diminished his family’s sadness, but their pride in Gavin’s service and sacrifice conquers the darkness they feel without him.

Luke Gavin’s name is listed on the Roll of Honour on my right, along with 41 other Australians who died in or as a result of their service in Afghanistan.

This is but one of the many stories of service and sacrifice told here at the Australian War Memorial. We now remember Lance Corporal Luke Gavin, who gave his life for us, for our freedoms, and in the hope of a better world.

Aaron Pegram
Historian, Military History Section

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