The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (2376) Private Edward Michael Batten, 45th Battalion, AIF, First World War.

Accession Number AWM2018.1.1.182
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 1 July 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 Troy Clayton, the story for this day was on (2376) Private Edward Michael Batten, 45th Battalion, AIF, First World War.

Speech transcript

2376 Private Edward Michael Batten, 45th Battalion, AIF
KIA 12 October 1917
Story delivered 1 July 2018

Today we remember and pay tribute to Private Edward Michael Batten.

Edward Batten was born on 13 April 1877 at the family property “Tommy Tommy” at Lue near Rylstone in New South Wales. Fondly known as “Ted”, he was the fifth of eight children of William and Margaret Batten.

Young Edward grew up in the district and attended Pyangle Public School. Just shy of his 15th birthday, Batten took up a five-year apprenticeship with John Miller, a coach builder in Mudgee. He was to be taught and instructed in the trade of a body maker. When Miller was declared bankrupt, however, Batten returned to Lue where he worked as a grazier.

Batten served with the New South Wales Permanent Artillery from 1898 until 1900, attaining the rank of bombardier.

Following the outbreak of the First World War, Batten enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force on 15 April 1916 at Bathurst. After his initial training, he was allotted to the 5th reinforcements to the 45th Battalion. He embarked from Sydney aboard the transport ship Anchises on 24 August.

Landing in England in October, he was sent to a training battalion. After spending the winter of 1916 and 1917 in England, he joined the 45th Battalion in France in early April 1917.

Batten saw his first major battle at Messines on 7 June. During the day, he was shot in the neck and evacuated to a hospital on the French coast. After a period of recovery and convalescence, he returned to the battalion in mid-August.

The 45th Battalion was next involved in the ill-fated attack on Passchendaele on 12 October. With horrendous weather conditions and poor planning, the attack floundered in the mud.

That evening, Batten and a number of other men had retired to a captured pillbox to rest. When a German shell landed inside the door and exploded, the occupants, including Batten, were killed instantly. Batten was laid to rest in the Tyne Cot British Cemetery. He was 41 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 Edward Michael Batten, 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 (2376) Private Edward Michael Batten, 45th Battalion, AIF, First World War. (video)