The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (SX14282) Private Jeffrey Rex Hobbs, 2/27th Battalion, Second Australian Imperial Force, Second World War.

Places
Accession Number AWM2017.1.187
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 06 July 2017
Access Open
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945
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 Sharon Bown, the story for this day was on (SX14282) Private Jeffrey Rex Hobbs, 2/27th Battalion, Second Australian Imperial Force, Second World War.

Speech transcript

SX14282 Private Jeffrey Rex Hobbs, 2/27th Battalion, Second Australian Imperial Force
KIA 4 December 1942

Story delivered 6 July 2017

Today we remember and pay tribute to Private Jeffrey Hobbs.

Jeffrey Rex Hobbs was born on 8 March 1922 in Ceduna in the West Coast region of South Australia, one of nine children of Harold and Elsie Hobbs.

Growing up, Jeffrey attended a single teacher school with less than a dozen students in the small settlement of Coorabie. After finishing school at the age of 14, he worked on the family farm for a few years. When he was 16 he moved to Berri in South Australia to work on his uncle’s orchard.

After the outbreak of the Second World War, Hobbs unsuccessfully attempted to enlist while underage. It wasn’t until August 1941, at the age of 19, that he met with success, joining reinforcements for the 2/27th Battalion, which was then serving in the Middle East.

At the beginning of November 1941 Hobbs embarked for overseas service, arriving in the Middle East in late November. After a period of training he joined his battalion on 19 January 1942. Ten days later, the battalion returned to Australia in response to the threat posed by Japan’s entry into the war and rapid advance through south-east Asia.

In March 1942, the battalion disembarked at Adelaide and Hobbs was given a period of home leave, which he used to visit his family in South Australia.

After rejoining his battalion, he spent a further period training before leaving Brisbane, bound for Port Moresby. Arriving in Port Moresby in mid-August 1942, the 2/27th Battalion moved up the Kokoda Trail where it fought at Mission Ridge in September.

From November the battalion took part in the Allied attack on the Japanese beachheads in northern Papua. The battalion encountered a string of well-defended bunkers, expertly camouflaged in the lush tropical vegetation, and enemy troops armed with machine-guns and mortars. Allied aircraft and artillery bombed and shelled the Japanese positions, but the battalion continued to suffer heavy casualties in attacking them.

On 4 December 1942, during the fighting at Gona, Jeffrey Hobbs was killed in action. His body was buried in the British and Commonwealth Cemetery in Port Moresby.
He was 20 years old.

Jeffrey Hobbs is listed on the Roll of Honour on my left, among some 40,000 Australians who died while serving in the Second 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 Jeffrey Rex Hobbs, who gave his life for us, for our freedoms, and in the hope of a better world.

Lachlan Grant
Historian, Military History Section

  • Video of The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (SX14282) Private Jeffrey Rex Hobbs, 2/27th Battalion, Second Australian Imperial Force, Second World War. (video)