The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of Captain Jack Rylot Eddy, 1st Australian Divisional Ammunition Column, AIF, First World War.

Places
Accession Number AWM2017.1.162
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 11 June 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 Jana Johnson, the story for this day was on Captain Jack Rylot Eddy, 1st Australian Divisional Ammunition Column, AIF, First World War.

Speech transcript

Captain Jack Rylot Eddy, 1st Australian Divisional Ammunition Column, AIF
KIA 4 October 1917

Story delivered 11 June 2017

Today we remember and pay tribute to Captain Jack Rylot Eddy.

Jack Rylot Eddy was born on 14 April 1894 at Victoria Barracks, Melbourne, the first of six children born to George and Cecilia Eddy.

Jack’s father, George, was a teacher turned soldier. In 1899 he departed for the Boer War as a major with the 1st Victorian Mounted Rifles. He was killed in action on 12 February 1900 at Rensburg. Following her husband’s death, Cecilia Eddy moved the family to South Yarra. Further tragedy struck in March 1909 when one of Jack’s younger brothers, Keith, died at home of illness at the age of 12.

Jack Eddy was educated at Punt Road State School and later at Wesley College. From the age of nine, he was involved in the cadets and later the boy scouts. As a young adult, he continued his service with the Citizens’ Military Force, initially with the Victorian Rangers, his father’s old unit, before transferring to the artillery. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant after turning 18.

When the First World War began, Eddy immediately applied for a commission, and on 20 August 1914 was commissioned into the Australian Imperial Force as a second lieutenant. He embarked from Melbourne as a member of Number 2 Section, 1st Divisional Ammunition Column on the 20th of October aboard the transport ship Shropshire.

The unit’s initial destination was England, but the troops were stopped in Egypt when it was realised that conditions in England were unsuitable for training.

Eddy was promoted to lieutenant at the beginning of February 1915, and when the 1st Division sailed for Lemnos and Gallipoli, he remained in Egypt. He had to wait until September before he was sent to Gallipoli where on arrival he was transferred to the 2nd Brigade Artillery Column.
Eddy served on Gallipoli until just prior to the evacuation, returning to Egypt at the end of December. In early March 1916 he was promoted to captain, and ten days later embarked with his unit for France.

In May, Eddy returned to 2 Section, 1st Divisional Ammunition Column and saw his first major battle at Pozières, being involved in bringing ammunition forward for the Australian artillery batteries.

He suffered a hernia in August, but kept working until being evacuated to England on 10 September. He had an operation to repair the hernia, but his recovery was slow. He began suffering nightmares and headaches while convalescing and it was some time before he was fit for duty.
Eddy remained in England before returning to France in late July 1917. He transferred to the 2nd Field Artillery Brigade and was posted to 6 Battery.

In the early hours of 4 October, prior to the Australian attack on Broodseinde, Eddy was mortally wounded when a German shell detonated near him. One of his comrades remained with him until he died two and a half hours later. He was later laid to rest in Reninghelst New Military Cemetery. He was 23 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 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 Captain Jack Rylot Eddy, who gave his life for us, for our freedoms, and in the hope of a better world.

  • Video of The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of Captain Jack Rylot Eddy, 1st Australian Divisional Ammunition Column, AIF, First World War. (video)