The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (1049) Trooper Edgar Wright, 6th Light Horse Regiment, First World War.

Places
Accession Number AWM2017.1.342
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 08 December 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 Charis May, the story for this day was on (1049) Trooper Edgar Wright, 6th Light Horse Regiment, First World War.

Speech transcript

1049 Trooper Edgar Wright, 6th Light Horse Regiment
KIA 4 August 1916

Story delivered 8 December 2017

Today we remember and pay tribute to Trooper Edgar Alma Mark Wright.

Edgar Wright was born in 1892, one of five children of George and Mary Wright who owned the Mua Plantation near Suva on Fiji island. He grew up on the government station at Fort Canarvon, attended public school at Levuka and Suva, and spent his formative years at Australian College at Randwick in Sydney before taking up a position as a plantation manager with the Burns Philp & Company in the Solomon Islands.

Edgar returned to Sydney and enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force in March 1915. His older brother George had already enlisted, sailing for Egypt with the Australian Light Horse. Edgar trained at the military camp at Liverpool before embarking for Egypt with a reinforcement group for the 6th Light Horse Regiment. After fighting on Gallipoli during the last stages of the campaign, he was evacuated with frostbite before the withdrawal of Allied forces in December. He then linked up with the regiment at Maadi Camp near Cairo on New Year’s Eve 1915.

After Gallipoli, the AIF underwent a major reorganisation and effectively doubled in size. While the infantry prepared to join the fighting on the Western Front, the light horse remained in Egypt, joining the Anzac Mounted Division and defending the Suez Canal from Ottoman incursions across the Sinai desert. The 6th Light Horse Regiment took up defensive positions along the canal at Kantara soon after Edgar’s younger brother Maitland transferred to the 6th Light Horse from the infantry. Maitland was drafted into C Squadron and the brothers shared a tent as the regiment helped defend the Suez Canal.

The 6th Light Horse pushed into the Sinai Desert in April 1916, heading 20 kilometres east to English Yeomanry camp at Romani. Over the
following months, the regiment conducted mounted patrols and reconnaissance.

The 6th Light Horse was manning the forward outposts at Et Maler when Ottoman forces attacked Romani on 4 August 1916. Edgar had reported sick that day and was resting in Romani when the fighting erupted. According to his father, Edgar obtained a horse and rode out join his brother and other comrades in the fighting. They came under heavy fire from Turkish machine-guns and artillery, and were assaulted from the air. Edgar was shot during the fighting, one of seven members of the regiment killed before the Ottoman attack petered out.

Edgar was buried near where he fell at Et Maler and was afterward reinterred at Kantara War Memorial Cemetery. The inscription on his headstone reads: “Not what I am but what I do is my kingdom”.
Edgar Wright was 24 years old.

His name is listed on the Roll of Honour on my right, among almost 62,000 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 Trooper Edgar Alma Mark Wright, who gave his life for us, for our freedoms, and in the hope of a better world.

Aaron Pegram
Historian, Military History Section

  • Video of The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (1049) Trooper Edgar Wright, 6th Light Horse Regiment, First World War. (video)