The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (227) Lieutenant Frederick Garnett Farlow MC, 11th Australian Light Horse Regiment, and (2308A) Trooper Harold Hamilton Farlow, 11th Australian Light Horse Regiment.

Accession Number AWM2018.1.1.306
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 2 November 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 Copyright restrictions apply. Only personal, non-commercial, research and study use permitted. Permission of copyright holder required for any commercial use and/or reproduction.

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 (227) Lieutenant Frederick Garnett Farlow MC, 11th Australian Light Horse Regiment, and (2308A) Trooper Harold Hamilton Farlow, 11th Australian Light Horse Regiment, First World War.

Film order form
Speech transcript

227 Lieutenant Frederick Garnett Farlow MC, 11th Australian Light Horse Regiment
KIA 25 September 1918
2308A Trooper Harold Hamilton Farlow, 11th Australian Light Horse Regiment
KIA 1 May 1918
Story delivered 2 November 2018
Today we remember and pay tribute to Lieutenant Frederick Garnet Farlow and Trooper Harold Hamilton Farlow.

Frederick Farlow was born on 5 August 1885 to the large family of Charles and Julia Farlow. Four years later, on 28 November 1889, his brother Harold was born.

The Farlow family farmed sugar cane in Maclean, in northern New South Wales. As Frederick and Harold grew, they assisted with work on the property.

Frederick enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force in January 1915 at Cairns, and was allotted to the 11th Light Horse Regiment. He proved to be a proficient soldier. While training, he was promoted to corporal and then sergeant. On 5 June 1915 he married Margaret Considine before his unit was sent for the Middle East.

While Australian infantry units were despatched to Gallipoli, it was thought the terrain was unsuitable for mounted troops, so the light horse regiments initially remained in Egypt. However, heavy casualties saw the deployment of the 4th Light Horse Brigade as reinforcements in August 1915. When they reached the peninsula, the regiment was split up to reinforce other regiments that had landed earlier and were understrength.

When the British forces were withdrawn from Gallipoli at the end of the year, the 11th Light Horse Regiment was re-formed in Egypt. Their first deployment was in defence of the Suez Canal and patrolling into the Sinai desert. Frederick’s leadership skills continued to be noticed, and he was promoted to sergeant major, and then second lieutenant.

In mid-October, the 11th Light Horse Regiment was involved in a raid on Ottomon positions in the Maghara Hills. For leading “his troop with gallantry and skill … and capturing a Turkish outpost” Frederick was awarded the Military Cross.

In April 1917 the 11th Light Horse Regiment moved into Palestine and took part in the unsuccessful second battle of Gaza, fighting on foot. During the fighting, Frederick was wounded by a machine-gun bullet in his right foot. The bullet had to be removed by surgical operation, which caused complications. After spending August at a rest camp in Port Said, he reported to hospital with an abscess in late December. In the latter months of 1917, he was mentioned in General Sir Archibald Murray’s despatches.

By this time, Harold Farlow had followed in his older brother Frederick’s footsteps. He had married May Ann Leighton on 18 October 1916 and enlisted in the AIF just over a week later. (A third brother, Merton Farlow, enlisted shortly after Harold, and also went on to join the 11th Light Horse Regiment.)

Private Harold Farlow embarked from Melbourne on 10 May 1917, landing at Suez the following month. While he was at an isolation camp at Moascar, his son, Boyd Austin Farlow, was born on 30 June 1917. Harold was posted to the 3rd Battalion in early September 1917, but transferred to join his brother Frederick in the 11th Light Horse Regiment later in the month.

In October, Harold took part in the fighting at Beersheba. While the other two regiments in the brigade took part in a mounted charge, the 11th provided flank protection and was too widely dispersed to take part. When Gaza was captured in November 1917, the Ottoman forces withdrew into Palestine, and the 11th were involved in the pursuit.

After spending the early months of 1918 training and resting, the regiment crossed the River Jordan to take part in the raid on Es Salt. During the raid, Harold held a wadi near Es Salt, while the regiment was attacking a bridgehead. Around 7 am he was wounded in the hand, and then was hit in the forehead by a bullet and fell to the ground, unconscious. His friend, Trooper Walter Mandall, was a few yards away and carried Farlow around a bend in the wadi, dressed his wound, and stayed with him for about an hour after he regained consciousness.

While about 60 Australian soldiers tried to hold up 2,000 Turks, Farlow continued to get weaker. He couldn’t walk, and was lying quietly when the group was compelled to retreat. Although few believed that he could survive, Harold Farlow was listed as wounded and missing, and then later as seriously wounded and believed to be a prisoner in Turkey.

His wife, May, wrote to the Defence Department, the Queensland Red Cross, and eventually the International Red Cross Agency for Prisoners of War to try to get news about him. She went so far as to send money to cover the expenses of the enquiry. She had heard reports that Farlow had been taken prisoner along with members of the 4th Light Horse Field Ambulance, despite the fact that the Red Crescent society did not have him listed as a prisoner of war.

It wasn’t until 1919 that a court of inquiry found that Harold Farlow had been killed in action on 1 May 1918.

Frederick Farlow remained on the River Jordan after the fighting at Es Salt that had taken his brother, helping to defeat heavy German and Ottoman attacks with the remainder of the 11th Light Horse.

After crossing the Jordan and Yarmuk Rivers late at night on 25 September, the regiment was ordered to attack a Turkish force garrisoned at the village of Semakh. The attack began before dawn.

The regiment had planned to attack the garrison's flank, but as no flank attack was possible, it swung around to attack straight on. Squadrons galloped on either side of the railway line – with all 12 machine-guns of the 4th Machine Gun Squadron providing covering fire – and succeeded in entering the village. The two leading light horse squadrons suffered nearly 100 horse casualties when they were fired on by rifles and machine-guns from several outposts.

Savage hand-to-hand fighting in the railway buildings and sidings lasted for more than an hour before the area was captured. While the attack could be considered a success, the 11th Light Horse Regiment had lost two captains, one lieutenant, and 11 other ranks killed, while four officers and 25 other ranks were wounded.

Among the dead was Frederick Farlow. He was 33 years old. His other brother, Merton, would be the only Farlow brother who survived the 11th Light Horse Regiment, returning to Australia in 1919.

Frederick Farlow’s 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. With him is his brother Harold.
These are but two of the many stories of service and sacrifice told here at the Australian War Memorial. We now remember Lieutenant Frederick Garnet Farlow MC, and Trooper Harold Farlow, who gave their lives for us, for our freedoms, and in the hope of a better world.

Duncan Beard
Editor, Military History Section

  • Video of The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (227) Lieutenant Frederick Garnett Farlow MC, 11th Australian Light Horse Regiment, and (2308A) Trooper Harold Hamilton Farlow, 11th Australian Light Horse Regiment. (video)