The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (2901A) Private Charles Francis Weatherstone, 9th Battalion, AIF, First World War.

Accession Number AWM2017.1.43
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 12 February 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

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 (2901A) Private Charles Francis Weatherstone, 9th Battalion, AIF, First World War.

Speech transcript

2901A Private Charles Francis Weatherstone, 9th Battalion, AIF
DOW 28 April 1916
No photograph in collection

Story delivered 12 February 2017

Today we remember and pay tribute to Private Charles Francis Weatherstone.

Popularly known as “Charlie”, Charles Weatherstone was born in 1890 in Grafton, New South Wales, to Adam and Mary Weatherstone. The sixth of nine children, he grew up in Grafton and attended the local public school. By the outbreak of the First World War he was working as a factory hand in Grafton.

Weatherstone enlisted in Grafton on 29 July 1915, and after initial training he was allotted to the 6th reinforcements to the 25th Battalion. He embarked from Brisbane in October aboard the transport ship Seang Bee, bound for Egypt.

In Egypt Weatherstone was sent to the 7th Training Battalion at Zeitoun, near Cairo. In late February he was transferred to the 9th Battalion and posted to C Company, and on 27 March sailed for France. By mid-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 in the afternoon of 20 April tragedy struck when the battalion’s C Company billets were heavily shelled. A shell landed outside a canvas tent, wounding four soldiers. As men went to assist, another shell landed amongst 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, suffering 25 men killed and a further 50 wounded, one of whom was Weatherstone.

He had gone to the aid of a wounded comrade, and suffered multiple shrapnel wounds as another shell exploded nearby. He was evacuated to the 7th Casualty Clearing Station, but his wounds proved fatal and he died on 28 April. He was 26 years old.

He was laid to rest in the Merville Communal Cemetery 20 kilometres south-west of Armentières.

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 Private Charles Francis Weatherstone, 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 (2901A) Private Charles Francis Weatherstone, 9th Battalion, AIF, First World War. (video)