|Object type||Last Post film|
Australian War Memorial
|Place made||Australia: Australian Capital Territory, Canberra, Campbell|
|Date made||4 December 2018|
Second World War, 1939-1945
Item copyright: © Australian War Memorial
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 commemorating the service of (429341) Flight Sergeant John Edmund Joseph Kelly, No. 12 Squadron, Royal Air Force, Second World War.
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 Craig Berelle, the story for this day was on (429341) Flight Sergeant John Edmund Joseph Kelly, No. 12 Squadron, Royal Air Force, Second World War.Film order form
429341 Flight Sergeant John Edmund Joseph Kelly, No. 12 Squadron, Royal Air Force
Killed in flying battle 23 October 1944
Story delivered 4 December 2018
Today we pay tribute to Flight Sergeant John Edmund Joseph Kelly.
John Kelly was born on 19 March 1920 in Koongal, near Rockhampton in Queensland, the son of John and Mary Kelly.
Little is known about his early life prior to his enlistment in the Royal Australian Air Force on 11 September 1942.
Following his enlistment, Kelly commenced training as a wireless operator and air gunner. After his initial training in Australia he embarked for overseas service.
As part of the Empire Air Training Scheme, he was one of almost 27,500 RAAF pilots, navigators, wireless operators, gunners, and engineers, who, throughout the course of the war, joined Royal Air Force squadrons or Australian squadrons based in Britain.
After his arrival in Britain, Kelly undertook further specialist training before he was posted to 1944 to No. 12 Squadron, Royal Air Force.
Part of RAF Bomber Command, No. 12 Squadron was equipped with four-engined Avro Lancaster heavy bombers.
On the night of 23/24 October, the Lancaster in which Kelly was the wireless operator and air gunner was taking part in a bombing raid on Essen, Germany, when it was shot down and crashed near the border between Germany and the Netherlands.
Kelly and all six of his crewmates were killed. They were fellow Australians: Warrant Officer John Phillip, Flight Sergeant Douglas Maclean, Flight Sergeant Arthur Llewellyn, Flight Sergeant Kenneth Rowley, Flight Sergeant Ian Fleming; and British crewmate, the flight engineer Sergeant Frank Niblett.
Their bodies were recovered from the crash site and buried side by side in the Winterswijk Cemetery in the Netherlands.
John Kelly was 24 years old. Upon his headstone is the following epitaph, chosen by his family:
To the world he was only one,
To us he was all the world.
His name is listed on the Roll of Honour on my left, among some 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 Flight Sergeant Flight Sergeant John Edmund Joseph Kelly, who gave his life for us, for our freedoms, and in the hope of a better world.
Historian, Military History Section
Video of The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (429341) Flight Sergeant John Edmund Joseph Kelly, No. 12 Squadron, Royal Air Force, Second World War. (video)