The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (328) Private Stanley Schweitzer, 17th Battalion, AIF, First World War.

Accession Number AWM2017.1.216
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 04 August 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 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 Craig Berelle, the story for this day was on (328) Private Stanley Schweitzer, 17th Battalion, AIF, First World War.

Film order form
Speech transcript

328 Private Stanley Schweitzer, 17th Battalion, AIF
KIA 27 August 1915

Story delivered 4 August 2017

Today we remember and pay tribute to Private Stanley Schweitzer.

Stanley Grenfell Schweitzer was born in 1890, one of 11 children of Charles and Mary Schweitzer of Grenfell in the Central West of New South Wales. Stanley’s father was French, and his mother was German. Their respective families had immigrated to New South Wales during the gold rush in the 1850s. The young Stanley Schweitzer grew up in Grenfell where he attended school and afterwards completed an apprenticeship at C. E. Wales Plumbers & Co.

Schweitzer enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force in Sydney in January 1915, and after four months of training at Liverpool Camp, embarked for the training camps in Egypt as an original member of the 17th Battalion. By then, Australian troops had landed on Gallipoli as part of a wider effort to gain control of the Dardanelles and knock Ottoman Turkey out of the war. As part of the newly-raised 2nd Division, the 17th Battalion did not land on Gallipoli on 25 April 1915 but four months later, during the final stages of the August Offensive.

The Battalion was sent to the northern defences at Anzac where it was attached to the 4th Brigade, holding the line in the approaches to the Sari Bair Range. Further to the north, the British had landed at Suvla and were attempting to gain ground that would enable them to link up with the Anzac defences. British and Australian troops made two major attacks against the Turks occupying Hill 60 – a position that commanded the low ground occupied by the allied forces.

Before dawn on 27 August, the 17th Battalion participated in costly and unsuccessful attack resulting in over 1,000 British and Australian casualties. The fighting in the warren of Turkish trenches was fierce and confusing, and became mired down in a vicious bomb duel until the Australians were ejected from the position. Stanley Schweitzer was among the casualties. Listed as missing in the days after the fighting at Hill 60, he was later listed as killed action.

Word of Stanley Schweitzer’s last moment reached his family in Grenfell later in 1916, when Major Peck wrote to his father from the training camps in England:

I have an officer with me who saw young Stan Schweitzer die. You can tell his pals, as an absolute fact, that he was the first out over the parapet, and died a grand death, with a bullet through the head. His officer said he was always a gallant kid, and withal cheerful.

Aged 24 at the time of his death, Schweitzer’s remains were never recovered from the Gallipoli battlefield. Today he is among the 4,900 Australian and New Zealand soldiers who died on Gallipoli and have no known grave who are commemorated on the Lone Pine Memorial.

His name is also 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 Stanley Schweitzer, who gave his life for us, for our freedoms, and in the hope of a better world.

Aaron Pegram
Historian, Military History Unit

  • Video of The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (328) Private Stanley Schweitzer, 17th Battalion, AIF, First World War. (video)