The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (3554) Gunner Daniel Tallan Le Brocq, 13th Field Artillery Brigade, AIF, First World War.

Accession Number AWM2019.1.1.196
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 15 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 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 , the story for this day was on (3554) Gunner Daniel Tallan Le Brocq, 13th Field Artillery Brigade, AIF, First World War.

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Speech transcript

3554 Gunner Daniel Tallan Le Brocq, 13th Field Artillery Brigade, AIF
KIA 18 July 1916

Today we remember and pay tribute to Gunner Daniel Tallan Le Brocq.

Daniel Le Brocq was born in 1895, one of 12 children born to Andrew and Mary Le Brocq of Korumburra, Victoria. Daniel was the oldest surviving child in the family, six of his siblings having died in infancy. Known as “Dennie” to his family and friends, he attended State School in Korumburra, and later moved with this family to St James in northern Victoria, where he worked as a hairdresser and tobacconist. He was well known and liked in St James, where he was a prominent member of the fire brigade, as well as local football and cricket clubs.

He gained military experience by serving in a local cadet unit.

Le Brocq enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force on 13 August 1915, and began training with the 21st Infantry Battalion. In November he set sail from Melbourne aboard the transport ship Demosthenes, and arrived in Egypt for further training and preparation for the war on the Western Front.

Le Brocq was in Egypt as the Australian Imperial Force underwent a period of rapid expansion and reorganisation after the evacuation from Gallipoli. In February he transferred to the newly formed 60th Battalion, and in March, after a brief period in the 57th Battalion, transferred from infantry to artillery, to the 51st Battery of the 13th Field Artillery Brigade.

Artillery supported troops in the field by providing high explosive and shrapnel fire on enemy defences and communication lines.
In June 1916 Le Brocq and his unit sailed from Egypt for France, and soon began service at Bois Grenier, near Armentières, on the French-Belgian border.

During his service, Le Brocq became a popular member of his unit, who later commented that he became a favourite in the group who was held in high esteem, and who was well-liked for his cheery jokes and happy-go-lucky ways.

In northern France, Le Brocq and the 13th Field Artillery Brigade spent a number of days laying artillery fire in preparation for the battle of Fromelles, Australia’s first major engagement on the Western Front, which was due to begin on the 19th of July.

Le Brocq’s 51st Battery fired high explosive and artillery shells on the German lines, and aimed part of their fire at German barbed wire entanglements in no-man’s-land in an attempt to clear a path for the Australian attack. Providing this fire attracted significant German retaliatory artillery fire. On 16 July, Le Brocq’s unit came under heavy shrapnel and gas shelling.

On 18 July, the day before the battle, Le Brocq wrote a letter home to his parents in Australia. He wrote that he was happy that he was serving in artillery and not in the trenches, and that he felt quite safe as long as the Germans did not score a direct hit on his position. He wrote: “We are getting quite used to the shells and noise now. Talk about the horrors of war; it sounds nothing to read it in the papers … I will conclude with best love to all. Remember me to all inquiring friends”.

Hours after penning that letter, Le Brocq and his artillery battery were in the process of laying preparatory fire on the German lines when they came under heavy German high explosive and shrapnel artillery fire. They attempted to find cover, but many did not make it out of the way of the German onslaught.

Le Brocq was killed instantaneously by a German shell.

He was 21 years old.

He is buried in the Rue-David Military Cemetery, Fleurbaix, where nearly 900 soldiers of the First World War now lie. His parents chose the inscription for his grave:
“His parting words, ‘I’ll do my best along with the rest’”.

Gunner Daniel Tallan Le Brocq’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.

This is but one of the many stories of service and sacrifice told here at the Australian War Memorial. We now remember Gunner Daniel Tallan Le Brocq, 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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