The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of Private Michael John George Hill, Depot Battalion.

Place Oceania: Australia, Victoria, Rutherglen
Accession Number AWM2019.1.1.36
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 5 February 2019
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 Richard Cruise, the story for this day was on Private Michael John George Hill, Depot Battalion.

Speech transcript

Private Michael John George Hill, Depot Battalion
DOD 6 October 1915

Today we remember and pay tribute to Private Michael John George Hill.

Michael Hill, known as “Mick”, was born in Wangaratta, Victoria, in December 1894 to Philip and Catherine Hill. He grew up in Rutherglen, where he attended the local convent school, and went on to work as a farm labourer in the district. He was a keen sportsman, and won several local bicycle races, as well as being known as a good oarsman in rowing regattas.

Mick Hill tried to enlist in the Australian Imperial Force in July 1915, during a two-week long recruitment drive in the district. After failing the medical examination, he went straight to Wangaratta to try enlisting again, and this time was accepted for service.

He went into Seymour Camp to begin his training in August 1915. A little under three weeks after entering camp, Private Hill became sick and was sent to the Alfred Hospital in Melbourne. His condition worsened, and he was diagnosed with cerebro-spinal meningitis. On 6 October 1915 at 7.45 in the morning he died in hospital.

Private Hill’s body was returned to his family in Rutherglen the following day, and he was buried in the Carlyle Cemetery.

Mick Hill’s younger brother Philip had enlisted in the AIF in July 1915. Philip was posted to the 14th Battalion and eventually sent to fight on the Western Front. One year and ten days after the death of his older brother, Private Philip Hill was killed in action while fighting in Belgium.

Both of the Hill boys are commemorated on the stone at Mick Hill’s gravesite in Rutherglen. Their family chose the epitaph “They gave their life their all, in response to their country’s call”. Mick Hill was 20 years old, Philip was 18.

Their names are listed on the Roll of Honour on my right, among more than 60,000 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 Michael John George Hill, 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 Private Michael John George Hill, Depot Battalion. (video)