The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (NX70475) Lieutenant Harry Hingst, 2/15th Field Regiment, Second World War.

Places
Accession Number AWM2018.1.1.298
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 25 October 2018
Access Open
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945
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 Richard Cruise, the story for this day was on, (NX70475) Lieutenant Harry Hingst, 2/15th Field Regiment, Second World War.

Speech transcript

NX70475 Lieutenant Harry Hingst, 2/15th Field Regiment
KIA 27 January 1942
Story delivered 25 October 2018

KIA 27 January 1942

Today we remember and pay tribute to Lieutenant Harry Hingst.

Harry Hingst was born on 13 June 1915, the son of William and Ida Hingst of Newcastle, New South Wales.

After leaving Newcastle Boys’ High School, Harry began working at Stegga’s Pty Ltd, where his father was the managing director.

Harry was well known in business and sporting circles, and he was noted for his active involvement in Rugby Union and swimming.

After his father, William, died in 1934, his mother remarried, but Harry remained working at Stegga’s, eventually becoming a departmental manager.

In March 1940, he gave his sister away at her wedding at Newcastle Cathedral. In November of that year, he enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force. By this stage he had been a member of the Australian Military Forces for two years, serving as a lieutenant in the 1st Field Brigade.

He was allocated to the 2/15th Field Regiment, which had been raised at Rosebery Racecourse in Sydney that very week. Within a fortnight, the regiment was at full strength and began training at Ingleburn with 18-pounder guns, guns used during the First World War, many of which were older than the gunners.

In January 1941 the regiment moved into the new camp in Holdsworthy, Sydney. Here Hingst completed a map reading course and a fitters and mechanics course.

After carrying out joint training with the 27th Brigade for a week in Bathurst, in late July the regiment left Sydney, on board the troopship Katoomba, bound for Singapore.

The 2/15th went into camp at Nee Soon, Singapore, where the men trained and were able to familiarise themselves with the jungle. It was not until late November that the regiment received its first 25-pounders.

Throughout November and the start of December it seemed that war with Japan was increasingly likely. In early December the 2/15th began moving to the state of Johore, Malaya, to relieve the 2/10th Field Regiment.

By the start of 1942 the Japanese had advanced through Thailand and most of Malaya. In early January the 2/15th moved north to reinforce the Allied troops that would fight the main Japanese force when it reached Johore.

By mid-January the regiment's gunners were in almost constant action, providing artillery support for the withdrawal along the Malayan Peninsula towards Singapore. In the first days of the campaign, two batteries of the regiment fired almost 8,000 rounds in the Gemas-Segamat sector by 29th and 30th Batteries, while another fired almost 7,000 rounds in support of the withdrawing Indian troops and Australian troops. The withdrawal was particularly difficult and, by the time 65 Battery reached the main force, a quarter of men had been wounded. By the end of the month, the last of Allied troops had crossed the causeway and reached Singapore.

Lieutenant Harry Hingst was not with them. He had been killed in action at Namazie Estate on 27 January 1942, when his gun position was destroyed by Japanese bombers.

Hingst was spared imprisonment in Changi prisoner-of-war camp and the horrors of captivity in camps along the Thailand-Burma Railway, and in Borneo, Japan, French Indochina, Java, Sumatra, and Malaya. This would have come as cold comfort to his grieving family.

Today his remains are buried at Kranji War Cemetery in Singapore, by the epitaph: “Dearly loved, sadly missed by loving mother and sisters”.

Harry Hingst was 26 years old.

His name is listed on the Roll of Honour on my left, among more than 40,000 Australians who died while serving in the Second 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 Harry Hingst, who gave his life for us, for our freedoms, and in the hope of a better world.

Duncan Beard
Editor, Military History Section

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