The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of Lieutenant Charles Percy Farrier, 10th Battalion, AIF, First World War.

Accession Number AWM2017.1.293
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 20 October 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 Gerard Pratt, the story for this day was on Lieutenant Charles Percy Farrier, 10th Battalion, AIF, First World War.

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Speech transcript

Lieutenant Charles Percy Farrier, 10th Battalion, AIF
KIA 9 May 1915
Photograph: P01224.003

Story delivered 20 October 2017

Today we remember and pay tribute to Lieutenant Charles Percy Farrier.

Charles Farrier was born around 1895 in Broken Hill, New South Wales, where his father was the government mine inspector. He was sent to board at the King’s School in Parramatta, and later returned to Broken Hill and worked on the mines as a surveyor. Farrier had a passionate interest in the military, and had served with the cadets since he was a schoolboy. He went on to gain his commission in the citizens’ militia in Broken Hill.

Farrier applied for a commission in the Australian Imperial Force within weeks of the outbreak of war in 1914. He was one of three officers in charge of a group of 120 volunteers from Broken Hill who caught the train to Adelaide to go into camp. They had all seen previous service in the military or rifle clubs, and were called “a splendid stamp of men” by an observer. The group left Broken Hill on 23 August 1914, parading through the streets to loud cheers from the vast numbers congregated to wish them well. Bagpipers played as the train left the station for Adelaide.

Lieutenant Farrier was posted to the 10th Battalion and underwent a period of training first in Australia, and then in Egypt.

In the early hours of 25 April 1915, the men of the 10th Battalion rowed silently towards the Turkish shore at what would become known as Anzac Cove. The war diary of the battalion records that “no sound was heard, except the splash of the oars; we thought that our landing was to be effected quite unopposed, but when our boats were within about 30 yards of the beach a rifle was fired from the hill in front of us above the beach, right in front of where we were heading for. Almost immediately heavy rifle and machine gun fire was opened upon us.”
The men finished rowing to the shore and raced for the heights above the beach. Lieutenant Farrier dashed up the beach, calling out, “Come on boys, I’m with you!”
Farrier was wounded the day after the landing. He was evacuated to hospital, where he spent two weeks before returning to Gallipoli. The day after he landed, he was giving instructions to his men about lowering the parapet on their trench when he was shot and killed almost instantly. He was 20 years old.

In Australia his family was first notified that he was wounded. Farrier’s mother was seriously ill, and by the time the notification came through that he had been killed, she was in hospital in Broken Hill awaiting surgery. It was decided not to tell her that Charles was dead until the operation was over. She seemed to do well after the operation, but collapsed and died shortly afterwards, never knowing that her son had been killed in action.

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 Lieutenant Charles Percy Farrier, 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 Lieutenant Charles Percy Farrier, 10th Battalion, AIF, First World War. (video)