The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (3264) Lieutenant Albert Edgar Fothergill 9th Battalion, AIF, First World War

Accession Number AWM2017.1.256
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 13 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

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 (3264) Lieutenant Albert Edgar Fothergill 9th Battalion, AIF, First World War

Speech transcript

3264 Lieutenant Albert Edgar Fothergill 9th Battalion, AIF
KIA 20 April 1916
Story delivered 9 September 2017

Today we remember and pay tribute to Lieutenant Albert Edward Fothergill.

Albert Edgar Fothergill was born in 1886 in Bristol, England, to George and Matilda Fothergill. He was educated in Bristol, where he became qualified as a teacher.

He immigrated to Australia at the age of 19, settling in Muswellbrook, New South Wales, where he met Litoria May Medhurst. The two went on to marry, and a daughter, Dorothy, was born in 1909. Fothergill worked as a teacher in the region. While he was teaching at Coutts Crossing, the First World War began.

Fothergill enlisted in Brisbane on 2 July 1915 and was allocated to reinforcements to the 25th Battalion. With his experience as a teacher, he was given a commission with the rank of second lieutenant.

He embarked from Brisbane aboard the transport ship Itonus on 30 December 1915, bound for Egypt. After disembarking in Alexandria, Fothergill was sent to a training battalion. At the end of February 1916, he was transferred to the 9th Battalion, where he became a platoon commander in C Company.

The battalion sailed for France at the end of March, and by 19 April was in reserve billets near Rouge-de-Bout, one mile behind the front line near Armentières. Intermittent artillery fire was landing nearby.

Early in the afternoon of 20 April, tragedy struck. When the battalion’s C Company billets were heavily shelled, a shell landed outside a canvas tent, wounding four soldiers. As men went to assist, another shell landed amongst them, killing several and wounding others. A further shell hit a brick wall of a nearby billet causing a further 47 casualties. C Company was decimated, suffering 25 men killed, one of whom was Fothergill, and a further 50 wounded, some of whom died from their wounds over the ensuing days.

Later that day, Fothergill and the other fallen men of C Company were laid to rest in the Rue-Du-Bacquerot (13th London) Graveyard at Laventie. He was 29 years old.

Fothergill’s name is listed on the Roll of Honour on my right, along with more than 60,000 others from 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 Lieutenant Albert Edgar Fothergill, who gave his life for us, for our freedoms, and in the hope of a better world.

Michael Kelly Historian, Military History Section

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