The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (VX5034) Acting Corporal Eric Goble, 2/6th Battalion, Second World War.

Accession Number AWM2019.1.1.190
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 9 July 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

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 (VX5034) Acting Corporal Eric Goble, 2/6th Battalion, Second World War.

Speech transcript

VX5034 Acting Corporal Eric Goble, 2/6th Battalion
KIA 29 December 1940

Today we remember and pay tribute to Acting Corporal Eric Goble.

Eric Charles Goble was born on 16 April 1905 on Palmerston, a city on the south island of New Zealand. The son of Annie and Iden Goble, he had an older brother, Howard. Known as “Snowy” by his mates, Goble migrated to Australia and settled in West Geelong, Victoria, where he worked spray painting cars.

Goble enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force on 23 October 1939, not long after the beginning of the Second World War. He soon began training with the 2/6th Infantry Battalion at Puckapunyal.

In April 1940 Goble embarked from Melbourne aboard the transport ship Neuralia, bound for the Middle East. After arriving at Kantara on the Suez Canal in Egypt, the unit moved to Palestine, where they continued to train for six months.

During this period, Goble spent time on a security detachment in Gaza, and was promoted on a number of occasions, eventually serving at the rank of acting corporal.
In mid-September 1940 Goble and the 2/6th Battalion began to move into Egypt in preparation for fighting against Italian forces in North Africa.

In December the battalion began to move along the Egyptian coast towards the border with Libya in preparation for the battle of Bardia, their first major engagement in the war.

While preparing for the battle, in late December 1940 Goble was part of a night patrol of Italian positions near Bardia were assigned with examining frontier wire positions, communications, and Italian strong points.

At about 2.30 am on 29 October, the patrol found Italian soldiers digging into a position. The Australians set up an ambush as the sun began to rise and attempted to take an Italian soldier as a prisoner of war, but came under rifle and mortar fire. The Italian force was about 70 men strong and outnumbered the Australian patrol. The Australians were ordered to retreat.

Goble, who was on the left of the ambush, attempted to attack what turned out to be an Italian strong point armed with a grenade and a rifle. One report states that as he attempted to throw his grenade he was shot and killed instantly.

In the chaos of the retreat, the outnumbered Australians were unable to retrieve his body.
He was 36 years old.

His name is listed on the Alamein Memorial in Egypt, which commemorated the names of nearly 12,000 casualties of the Second World War who have no known grave.
His name is listed on the Roll of Honour on my left, among almost 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 Acting Corporal Eric Goble, who gave his life for us, for our freedoms, and in the hope of a better world.

David Sutton
Historian, Military History Section

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