The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (1634) Private Adrian Croese, 35th Battalion, AIF, First World War.

Places
Accession Number AWM2018.1.1.98
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 8 April 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
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 Jana Johnson, the story for this day was on (1634) Private Adrian Croese, 35th Battalion, AIF, First World War.

Speech transcript

1634 Private Adrian Croese, 35th Battalion, AIF
KIA 11 March 1917
Story delivered 8 April 2018

Today we remember and pay tribute to Private Adrian Croese.

Adrian Croese was born in 1891 to Cornelius and Jane Croese of Mayfield, New South Wales. He grew up in the Newcastle district and went on to work for the Post and Telegraph Department as a linesman. In February 1916, Adrian Croese applied to his employer for permission to enlist in the Australian Imperial Force. Permission was granted, and he was allowed leave without pay to serve in the armed forces.

Croese was accepted for active service that same month, and after a period of training in Australia, left for active service overseas on 1 May 1916 on board the troopship Benalla. In England he joined the 35th Battalion, sometimes known as “Newcastle’s Own”, and the men trained for several months before arriving on the Western Front in November 1916.

Private Croese endured the bitterly cold winter of 1916 and 1917 in the trenches in Belgium, rotating in and out of the front line. Unlike many, his health did not suffer, and he stayed with the battalion throughout the winter, as they waited for the warmer months when active fighting would resume.

On 11 March 1917 the 35th Battalion was in the front line near the town of Armentières. Private Croese was serving as a Lewis gunner and was on duty in the front line in charge of a Lewis gun team. Shortly before 3 o’clock in the afternoon, an artillery duel broke out, with both sides firing heavily. One of the shells burst in the trench near Private Croese, wounding him and several of his team. Croese was carried to the medical officer, but a large fragment of shell had penetrated his helmet and he could not be saved. He died shortly afterwards.

An officer of the 35th Battalion wrote to Adrian Croese’s parents in Mayfield, saying:
You will, I know, be to some extent consoled by the knowledge that your son had all through done his part as a man. He was always keen at his work, cool in danger, and most reliable, one of the very best men we had. His mates will feel the loss keenly, as I shall. He always had a smile and a cheerful word, no matter how things were going.

Today Private Adrian Croese is buried in the Cité Bonjean Military Cemetery at Armentières. 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 Adrian Croese, who gave his life for us, for our freedoms, and in the hope of a better world.

Meleah Hampton
Historian, Military History Section

  • Video of The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (1634) Private Adrian Croese, 35th Battalion, AIF, First World War. (video)