The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of Lieutenant Colonel Ernest Samuel Brown, 3rd Battalion, AIF, First World War.

Accession Number AWM2017.1.294
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 21 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 Joanne Smedley, the story for this day was on Lieutenant Colonel Ernest Samuel Brown, 3rd Battalion, AIF, First World War.

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Speech transcript

Lieutenant Colonel Ernest Samuel Brown, 3rd Battalion, AIF
KIA: 6-8 August, 1915
Photograph: A05609

Story delivered 21 October 2017

Today we remember and pay tribute to Lieutenant Colonel Ernest Samuel Brown.

Ernest Brown was born on 12 September 1875 in Yorkshire, England, to Ernest and Allison Brown. His parents immigrated to Australia when he was three years old and they settled in the Newcastle area, where he grew up and attended school.

At the age of 19, Brown embarked on a career as a soldier, joining the Royal Australian Garrison Artillery as a gunner.

He married Hannah Marie Burgess on 21 December 1897 in Paddington, New South Wales. In the years immediately after a daughter, Ivy May, and son, Ernest Roy, were born to the couple.

By 1910 Brown had been promoted to Company Sergeant Major and had been serving as a member of the instructional staff at Victoria Barracks. He was commissioned with the rank of second lieutenant in April, along with a posting to the instructional staff of the 2nd Military District, and was promoted to lieutenant later in the year. By the time the First World War began, Brown had been promoted to captain and was the brigade major for the 8th Brigade.

Brown applied for a commission in the AIF as soon as recruiting stations opened. On 19 August he was appointed with the rank of captain to the newly formed 3rd Battalion, where he was made adjutant.

On 20 October, Brown embarked with the 3rd Battalion from Sydney aboard the transport ship Euripides. With news from England that due to a bitter winter there was no suitable accommodation, the Australians began disembarking in Egypt in December.

Brown was promoted to major on 1 January 1915 and spent the next three months in training. In early April the battalion sailed to Lemnos in preparation for the Gallipoli campaign.

The 3rd Battalion came ashore at Gallipoli and pushed inland to MacLaurin’s Hill before digging in. In the days following the landing, Brown was wounded several times in the face, arm and neck, but refused to be evacuated.

In early May, following the death of Lieutenant Colonel George Frederick Braund, Brown was appointed temporary lieutenant colonel and given command of the 2nd Battalion. After several busy months, Brown returned to the 3rd Battalion as its commanding officer in mid-July.

When the August offensive was launched, the 1st Brigade was tasked with leading the attack to capture the Turkish positions at Lone Pine. As men fought tooth and nail for Lone Pine, the 3rd Battalion was in the centre of the attacking wave, gaining the Turkish front-line trenches half an hour after the assault had begun.

The following evening, during fierce fighting at Wood’s Post, Brown was badly wounded in the head, and was killed outright soon after. His body was brought out and he was laid to rest in Beach Cemetery.

He was 39 years old.

For his service on Gallipoli, Brown would twice be mentioned in Sir Ian Hamilton’s Despatches.

Brown’s name is listed on the Roll of Honour on my right, along with around 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 Colonel Ernest Samuel Brown, who gave his life for us, for our freedoms, and in the hope of a better world.

Michael Kelly
Historian, Military History Section

  • Video of The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of Lieutenant Colonel Ernest Samuel Brown, 3rd Battalion, AIF, First World War. (video)