The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (4908) Corporal Clarence Hallard Page, 2nd Division Signals Coy, AIF, First World War.

Places
Accession Number AWM2017.1.24
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 24 January 2017
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 Craig Berelle, the story for this day was on (4908) Corporal Clarence Hallard Page, 2nd Division Signals Coy, AIF, First World War.

Speech transcript

4908 Corporal Clarence Hallard Page, 2nd Division Signals Coy, AIF
KIA 14 October 1916
Photograph: P08471.001

Story delivered 24 January 2017

Today we remember and pay tribute to Corporal Clarence Hallard Page.

Popularly known as “Clarrie”, Clarence Page was born on 30 April 1895 to Arthur and Annie Page of the Yorke Peninsula in South Australia. He grew up in Kadina, and was later employed with the post office. He was eventually transferred to Kapunda in the Barossa Valley as a telegraphist. There he continued his involvement in the cadets, and received his commission as lieutenant in the senior cadets. From Kapunda he went to the remote Smoky Bay, where he worked at the repeating station. He enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force in March 1915, a month before his 20th birthday.

His experience as a telegraphist made him an obvious recruit for the 2nd Divisional Signals Company. He underwent initial training in Australia before being sent for overseas service.

Page arrived in Egypt in September 1915 and spent some time on Gallipoli, but was evacuated from the peninsula with a fever at the end of November. He later spent time in hospital in Alexandria suffering from frostbite. After he re-joined his unit he was promoted to lance corporal and was sent to France to fight on the Western Front in March 1916. He was promoted again shortly after his arrival.

Corporal Page survived the fighting at the French village of Pozières and the subsequent fight for Mouquet Farm in July and August 1916. The fighting ended in an allied victory, but not without cost. In the words of Australian official historian Charles Bean, the Pozières ridge was “more densely sown with Australian sacrifice than any other place on earth”.

Following its withdrawal from the front line, the 2nd Division Signals Company spent time training and playing football before being called into the front lines once more. On 14 October 1916 Corporal Page was killed in action in the front line in Belgium near a position called Railway Dugouts. His body was recovered from the battlefield and today lies in Railway Dugouts Burial Ground under the words “In memory of the dearly loved son of Mr & Mrs Page of Australia”.

After the war Page’s mother was asked to fill out a short circular to supply information for the Roll of Honour. One of the questions asked for “any other biographical details likely to be of interest to the Historian”. Annie Page wrote that her son was “just a lad whose motto was always ‘duty first’”. Clarence Page was 21 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. His photograph is on display today by 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 Corporal Clarence Hallard Page, who gave his life for us, for our freedoms, and in the hope of a better world.

Dr Meleah Hampton
Historian, Military History Section

  • Video of The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (4908) Corporal Clarence Hallard Page, 2nd Division Signals Coy, AIF, First World War. (video)