The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (1979) Private Andrew Lassen, 9th Battalion, AIF, First World War.

Accession Number AWM2016.2.328
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 23 November 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 Troy Clayton, the story for this day was on (1979) Private Andrew Lassen, 9th Battalion, AIF, First World War.

Speech transcript

1979 Private Andrew Lassen, 9th Battalion, AIF
DOW 22 April 1916
Photograph: P06006.001

Story delivered 23 November 2016

Today we remember and pay tribute to Private Andrew Lassen.

Andrew Lassen was born on 19 October 1892 in Bogentungen, a suburb of Rockhampton, Queensland, to John and Maria Lassen. At the outbreak of the First World War he was married with two children and was working as a tailor in Maryborough, Queensland.

Lassen enlisted in Maryborough on 30 January 1915, and after initial training was allotted to the 5th reinforcements to the 9th Battalion. He embarked from Brisbane on 16 April aboard the transport ship Kyarra, bound for Egypt. Once there he was soon hospitalised with a skin complaint, and it was not until late July that he was sent to Gallipoli to join the 9th Battalion.

Lassen served on Gallipoli until November, when the 9th Battalion was withdrawn to Lemnos for a rest. With the onset of winter, Lassen developed influenza and was evacuated to Egypt.

Lassen re-joined the 9th Battalion after they returned to Egypt in January 1916, but was fell ill and was hospitalised again in late February, returning to the battalion in early March. That month the battalion sailed for France.

By 20 April the 9th 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 that afternoon 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 a further 47 casualties. C Company was decimated, with 25 men killed and a further 50 wounded – one of whom was Lassen, who had been hit in the head by shrapnel and was evacuated to 7th Casualty Clearing Station.

His wound proved fatal, and he died on 22 April. He was laid to rest in the Merville Communal Cemetery that day, aged 34.

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. His photograph is displayed today beside the Pool of Reflection.

This is but one of the many stories of service and sacrifice told here at the Australian War Memorial. We now remember Private Andrew Lassen, 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 (1979) Private Andrew Lassen, 9th Battalion, AIF, First World War. (video)