The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (3897) Private Horace Edward Young, 29th Australian Infantry Battalion, AIF, First World War.

Accession Number AWM2019.1.1.346
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 12 December 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 Aaron Pegram, the story for this day was on (3897) Private Horace Edward Young, 29th Australian Infantry Battalion, AIF, First World War.

Speech transcript

3897 Private Horace Edward Young, 29th Australian Infantry Battalion, AIF
KIA 23 March 1917

Today we remember and pay tribute to Private Horace Edward Young.

Horace Young was born about 1897 to Charles and Emma Young of Mornington, Victoria. He attended Mornington State School and worked as a labourer in the district.

In May 1916, Young enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force at Geelong. He trained with the reinforcements to the 29th Battalion for several months in Victoria. In September he embarked from Melbourne on board the transport ship Commonwealth, and arrived in England in November. There he completed a further month’s training before sailing to France.

When Young joined the 29th Battalion in northern France, the Australians were emerging from an extremely severe winter. As the weather warmed up, they noticed that there had been movement in the enemy’s lines.

During 1916, German forces had suffered heavy losses on the Somme sector of the Western Front in northern France. At the end of winter in 1917, the German forces in France made a deliberate withdrawal from their front lines to a strongly defended position called the Siegfried Line. Known as the Hindenburg Line to the British, this position allowed the Germans to shorten their line and concentrate their forces.
Discovering that the Germans had retreated, Australian and British forces moved forward and occupied several French towns and villages during March 1917. One of these was the small village of Beaumetz, which was occupied by Young and the men of the 29th Battalion.

During their withdrawal, the Germans made defensive stands at selected points. Early on the morning of 23 March 1917, German forces attacked Beaumetz, and Young was killed in the fighting. He was 19 years old.

Horace Young was buried at Beaumetz Cross Roads Cemetery in France, alongside more than 250 soldiers of the First World War. His mother had the following epitaph inscribed on his headstone: “In loving memory of our dearly loved son. Peace perfect peace”.

In Australia, Young was survived by his parents and his siblings Vera, Emily, Alice, and Charlie. His family remembered that he was only 18 years old when he died, so it is possible that Horace had claimed to be older than he was so that he could join the AIF.

Private Horace Edward Young 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 Private Horace Edward Young, who gave his life for us, for our freedoms, and in the hope of a better world.

Thomas Rogers
Historian, Military History Section

  • Video of The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (3897) Private Horace Edward Young, 29th Australian Infantry Battalion, AIF, First World War. (video)