The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (1992) Private Timothy Alexander Howard Stark, 50th Battalion, AIF, First World War.

Accession Number AWM2017.1.91
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 01 April 2017
Access Open
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 (1992) Private Timothy Alexander Howard Stark, 50th Battalion, AIF, First World War.

Film order form
Speech transcript

1992 Private Timothy Alexander Howard Stark, 50th Battalion, AIF
KIA 2 April 1917

Story delivered 1 April 2017

Today we remember and pay tribute to Private Timothy Alexander Howard Stark.

Howard Stark was born on 19 August 1897 to Archibald and Mary Ellen Stark of Millicent, South Australia. He was one of 13 children born to the couple, two of whom died in infancy, and the eldest of three sons. Howard’s family moved to Naracoorte when he was about seven years old, and he attended the local primary school. Described as being a “promising lad of good physique … well known and liked in Narracoorte”, he became a carpenter, and moved back to Millicent where he found work.

Stark enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force in March 1916 and, after a period of training in Australia, left for England in July. He underwent further training there before being sent to France to fight on the Western Front. Within days of his arrival, however, he came down with the mumps and had to spend some weeks in hospital recovering.

Private Stark was able to rejoin his battalion in late January 1917, after it had endured one of the harshest winters on record. The battalion continued rotating in and out of the front line until the Germans retreated to the Hindenburg Line.

The Germans had fortified a number of villages on the approach to the Hindenburg Line to delay the allied forces following their retreat. On 2 April 1917 the 50th Battalion participated in an attack on one of those villages, Noreuil. Stark was a member of A Company, which moved around to the right of the attack to support the rest of the battalion which hooked through the village. A Company encountered unbroken barbed-wire defences which took some time to get through. At some point they encountered a German force which succeeded in capturing several men from the company. Thrown into disarray, the company
struggled to advance, eventually establishing a position within 100 yards of their objective.

During this desperate fight, Private Howard Stark was killed in action. His body was later recovered and he was buried in Noreuil Australian Cemetery with around 100 men of the 50th Battalion killed on the same day. His epitaph reads “to live in hearts we leave behind is not to die”. He was 19 years old.

Howard Stark’s name is listed on the Roll of Honour on my right, among more than 60,000 Australians who died during 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 Timothy Alexander Howard Stark, who gave his life for us, for our freedoms, and in the hope of a better world.

Meleah Hampton
Historian, Military History Section

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