The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (2180) Private Clarence Colin Munro, 17th Battalion, AIF, First World War.

Place Europe: France
Accession Number AWM2020.1.1.48
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 17 February 2020
Access Open
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945
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 (2180) Private Clarence Colin Munro, 17th Battalion, AIF, First World War.

Speech transcript

2180 Private Clarence Colin Munro, 17th Battalion, AIF
DOW 10 June 1916

Today, we remember and pay tribute to Private Clarence Colin Munro.

Clarence Munro – known as “Clarrie” ¬to family and friends – was born in 1894 to James and Martha Munro. He was born near Coonamble but may have moved between New South Wales and Queensland during his childhood. His family settled in Millthorpe, where his mother ran the Commercial Hotel. In 1912 Martha moved to run the Park Hotel in Bathurst, and Clarrie worked as a barman. He was described as “most popular with his friends, and of a most unassuming character.”

Clarrie and his older brother Roy enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force in July 1915. However, the pair did not serve together. Roy left Australia with reinforcements to the 2nd Battalion, while Clarrie was allotted to the 17th Battalion. After a period of training in Australia, Private Clarence Munro left for active service overseas on board the troopship Argyllshire at the end of September 1915.

He was first sent to Egypt where he continued training with the 17th Battalion, and from there was sent to France to fight on the Western Front. The 17th Battalion had its first experience of front-line conditions in a quiet part of the line. Munro wrote a letter to his mother in April 1916 and enclosed a small bunch of flowers he had picked from the trench. He wrote “there are some beautiful blooms just in front of the enemy trenches. We can see them quite distinctly from our lines … Please keep the large yellow one for me when I return.”

Two months later the 17th Battalion was in the front line near Bois Grenier. Although a quiet sector, this was still a very dangerous place to be. Around 9 June Private Munro was caught in the blast of an artillery shell and, seriously wounded, was evacuated to a nearby casualty clearing station.

Nurse Todd wrote to Martha Munro in Bathurst to tell her what happened next: “your son … was admitted to this hospital on the morning of the 10th suffering from a penetrating shrapnel wound in the chest. He was quite conscious, but terribly ill, and had lost much blood. He rallied a little after being put in bed, but during the day grew worse, and towards evening we knew the end was near. He passed away at 10 pm. He was a dear, plucky boy, but his injuries were too bad, and so he passed over to that great crowd of brave men who have given their lives to keep the old flag flying as proudly as ever.”
Clarence Munro was buried in the nearby cemetery shortly after his death. He was 22 years old.

His name is 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 Clarence Colin Munro, who gave his life for us, for our freedoms, and in the hope of a better world.

Meleah Hampton
Historian, Military History Section

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