The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (7049) Private Marlon Roxburgh Varley Stark, 1st Battalion, First World War.

Accession Number AWM2018.1.1.75
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 16 March 2018
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 Greg Kimball, the story for this day was on (7049) Private Marlon Roxburgh Varley Stark, 1st Battalion, First World War.

Speech transcript

7049 Private Marlon Roxburgh Varley Stark, 1st Battalion
DOW 7 October 1917
Story delivered 16 March 2018

Today we remember and pay tribute to Private Marlon Roxburgh Varley Stark.

Marlon Stark was born in 1891, the eldest of William and Sarah Stark’s eight children. His father was a bookseller in Sydney, and Marlon probably grew up around Burwood. He was an active member of the local cadets, spending five years in the junior cadets and four in the senior cadets. Stark worked as an inspector of state hospitals and asylums. In 1912 he married Caroline Campbell in Newtown, and the pair had a daughter, also named Caroline.

Marlon Stark enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force in March 1916, some nine months after his younger brother Stanley. After a period of training in Australia he left for overseas service on board the troopship Benalla in early November 1916. By the time he left, he had already had word that his brother Lance Corporal Stanley Stark had been killed in action at Pozieres in August. Marlon missed his brother’s memorial service by two weeks.

Private Marlon Stark joined his battalion in France at the end of May 1917, shortly after the heavy fighting around the French village of Bullecourt. The battalion spent some time building up its numbers and training before it was called into the front line in Belgium towards the end of the year.

In early October 1917 the 1st Battalion participated in an attack on the Broodseinde Ridge. The enemy attacked at the same time, and in some instances the two attacking forces met each other in no man’s land. The final objective was captured within hours, but with significant casualties.

One of those wounded was Private Marlon Stark, who was evacuated to hospital with gunshot wounds to his abdomen. He survived the train journey to the coast on his way back to England, but died of his wounds at St Omer. He was buried in the French Souvenir Cemetery at Longueness. He was 26 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 Private Marlon Roxburgh Varley Stark, and his brother Lance Corporal James Stanley Varley Stark, who gave their lives for us, for our freedoms, and in the hope of a better world.

Meleah Hampton
Historian, Military History Section

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