The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (2434) Private George Humbert, 60th Battalion, AIF, First World War.

Places
Accession Number AWM2017.1.254
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 September 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 Gerard Pratt, the story for this day was on (2434) Private George Humbert, 60th Battalion, AIF, First World War.

Speech transcript

2434 Private George Humbert, 60th Battalion, AIF
KIA 6 April 1918

Story delivered 11 September 2017

Today we remember and pay tribute to Private George Humbert.

George Humbert was born in Bendigo on 9 May 1885, the eldest of six children born to George and Margaret Humbert. George’s father, and uncle were pioneering settlers in the Prairie district of Victoria, holding extensive tracts of land on which they raised cattle and wheat, and involved in breeding racehorses and trotters. George attended the local state school, and went on to work farming in the Mitiamo district. He was considered an extremely good-natured man.

George’s brother Arthur, the second eldest in the family, enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force in July 1915 and was killed in action in France a year later. Days after the news of his death reached the family, George felt compelled to enlist. He was posted to the 60th Battalion and after a short period of training, left Australian on board the troopship Shropshire.

Private Humbert first went to England for further training, and then to France, where he spent the winter rotating in and out of the front line. By spring he was suffering quite badly with rheumatism, and was taken to hospital in Rouen. As a result he spent a significant period of time in England on light duties with the quartermaster before rejoining his battalion in France.

In early April 1918 the 60th Battalion were in the front line near the French village of Hamel. At 4.14 am on 4 April a heavy artillery bombardment hit their lines, followed by a major German attack. The men were ordered to cease their work immediately and take up arms to defend their position. They spent the next few days in the front line, repelling attacks, shoring up defences and coping with the rain.

Two days later George Humbert was sitting in his dugout washing his feet when a piece of shell came over, pierced his helmet, and killed him
instantly. He was buried near where he fell, and after the war was moved to Crucifix Corner Cemetery in Villers-Bretonneux. He was 33 years old.

His name is listed on the Roll of Honour on my right, among more than 60,000 Australians who died during 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 George Humbert, who gave his life for us, for our freedoms, and in the hope of a better world.

Meleah Hampton
Historian, Military History Unit

  • Video of The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (2434) Private George Humbert, 60th Battalion, AIF, First World War. (video)