The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (1887) Private Frank Humphrey, 60th Battalion, AIF, First World War

Accession Number AWM2017.1.113
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 April 2017
Access Open
Conflict South Africa, 1899-1902 (Boer War)
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 Richard Cruise, the story for this day was on (1887) Private Frank Humphrey, 60th Battalion, AIF, First World War

Speech transcript

1887 Private Frank Humphrey, 60th Battalion, AIF
DOD 23 August 1916

Story delivered 23 April 2017

Today we remember and pay tribute to Private Frank Humphrey.

Born in Hull in Yorkshire in England, Frank Humphrey was 33 years old and working as bricklayer when he joined the Coo-ee recruiting march to Sydney from Gilgandra.

Under the leadership of “Captain Bill” Hitchen, 20 or so men who had determined to enlist set off on what was known as a “snowball march”. Gathering other recruits along the way, they numbered about 300 by the time they reached their destination. Humphrey had previously served for seven months in the Boer War, and was one of the first men to join the march, enlisting in early October 1915.

Humphrey went into camp at Liverpool in Sydney. However, at the start of January, he was discharged, having struggled with military discipline. His service record contains a note saying he was “not likely to become an efficient soldier”.

Humphrey then travelled to Victoria and enlisted at Wangaratta, in February 1916. He was first assigned to the 37th Battalion, but then became part of the 60th Battalion.

The 60th Battalion was raised in Egypt in February 1916 as part of the expansion of the AIF. Half of its recruits were Gallipoli veterans from the 8th Battalion, and the other half were fresh reinforcements from Australia. The majority of both groups were Victorians. The new battalion formed part of the 15th Brigade of the 5th Australian Division.

Humphrey embarked from Melbourne on board HMAT Port Lincoln in early May 1916, and sailed to Egypt. He became ill about a month after arriving, but was fit enough to embark for France on 2 August.

Humphrey became ill again and was admitted to hospital on 19 August. He died of dysentery on 23 August. He was buried in the Sainte Marie Cemetery in Le Havre, France.

Private Humphrey’s 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 Frank Humphrey, who gave his life for us, for our freedoms, and in the hope of a better world.

Emma Campbell Researcher, Military History Section

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