The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (2323) L/Cpl Cato Russell Haughton Dearlove, 5th Pioneer Battalion, First Wolrd War.

Accession Number AWM2019.1.1.364
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 31 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 Jana Johnson, the story for this day was on (2323) L/Cpl Cato Russell Haughton Dearlove, 5th Pioneer Battalion, First World War.

Speech transcript

2323 L/Cpl Cato Russell Haughton Dearlove, 5th Pioneer Battalion
DOW 29 September 1917

Today we remember and pay tribute to Lance Corporal Cato Russell Haughton Dearlove.

Cato Dearlove was born on 10 July 1888, the son of Alfred and Maria Dearlove of Black Springs in South Australia. His father was a state school teacher who came to Australia from England in 1849. Cato received his education from his father in the country, later moving to Adelaide to complete his education and become a school teacher himself.

He first taught at schools in the Adelaide suburbs of Mitcham and Unley before being appointed head teacher to the school at Cockburn near Broken Hill. He was a popular figure in the town, “highly complimented” for his organisation of public celebrations and school events. He was also a keen athlete, playing cricket, football and tennis for local teams. He became the captain of the Cockburn Rifle Club and held the championship for three years.
On 28 December 1915, Cato Dearlove married Janet Hoare in a “very pretty wedding” at Milang. Janet had been the matron of the infectious department of the Adelaide Hospital, but left her employment after her marriage. Less than a month later, Cato Dearlove enlisted for active service in the Australian Imperial Force.

He underwent a period of training in Australia before being sent to England, where his training continued on the Salisbury Plain. He proved an able soldier, and worked as a training sergeant at Lark Hill and Perham Downs. In early 1917 he qualified as an instructor in bomb throwing, but in May 1917 he gave up his rank in order to be able to go to the Western Front and engage in the fighting himself.

Private Dearlove was posted to the 5th Pioneer Battalion, which was not far behind the front lines near the French village of Bullecourt. Over the next weeks the men worked constructing a railway line to the village of Noreuil, along with a number of artillery dugouts.

Dearlove proved an able soldier in the field as well as on the training ground and was quickly promoted to lance corporal. The pioneers continued working on construction projects in close support of the Australian front lines in France and Belgium.

On 26 September 1917 the 5th Australian Pioneers were constructing a road through Glencorse Wood as the Australian infantry nearby conducted an attack on Polygon Wood. They also built a field dressing station near Birr Cross Roads, and carried a considerable amount of supplies to the front line. During the afternoon, Dearlove was in a hut near the supply dump at Hooge which came under fire. Badly wounded with multiple wounds to his arms and legs, he was evacuated from the battlefield, but died during an operation to amputate his leg on 29 September.

Cato Dearlove’s wife chose the epitaph for his grave in the St Sever Cemetery extension in France. It reads “Peace, perfect peace. Fondly remembered by his loving wife.” Her husband died aged 29.

Cato Dearlove’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 Lance Corporal Cato Russell Haughton Dearlove, who gave his life for us, for our freedoms, and in the hope of a better world.

Meleah Hampton
Historian, Military History Section