The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (1/1748) Private Edward George Hazel 3rd Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment, Korean War.

Accession Number AWM2020.1.1.177
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 25 June 2020
Access Open
Conflict Korea, 1950-1953
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 (1/1748) Private Edward George Hazel 3rd Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment, Korean War.

Film order form
Speech transcript

1/1748 Private Edward George Hazel 3rd Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment
Presumed dead 25th June 1953

Today we remember and pay tribute to Private Edward George Hazel.

Edward Hazel, was a Waka Waka man, born in Gayndah, Queensland, on 13 March 1925 to Sydney and Hetty Hazel.

Hazel, known by the nickname of “Toady”, grew up in Gayndah and attended Gayndah State School, which at the time was a small school with one teacher. He left school after gaining his primary education.

The family moved to Biggenden, where Hazel held a variety of jobs from a young age, working variously as a stockman and drover, farm hand, and road worker. He loved sporting activities, particularly rugby league, at which he excelled.

Hazel was living at home and working as a farm labourer when he decided to join the army. He travelled to Brisbane, and on 25 January 1951 enlisted in the Australian Regular Army for a period of six years.

After an initial posting as a kitchen hand, Hazel was sent to 11 National Service Training Battalion to undergo initial training as a soldier.

On 19 April 1952 Hazel married Gloria Dawn Davis at Urangan.

In September he was posted to the 4th Training Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, for training as an infantryman. Hazel only had one blemish on his service record: he was found absent without leave during an afternoon in late June, returning to camp early the following morning. He was fined one pound and confined to barracks for three days for his trouble.

In mid-February, Hazel was posted as a reinforcement for service in Korea. He had only recently become a father, with the birth of his son, Edward. After flying out of Sydney, he spent several months at the Reinforcement Holding Unit in Japan where he received further training in preparation for front-line service.

He arrived in Korea on 2 June and joined the 3rd Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment, the following day. A little over a week later, Hazel wrote to his parents to tell them he was “over in Korea at last” and that the battalion was “under notice to go up to the front”.

He was nervous about his first experience of front-line service but tried to reassure his parents, telling them “I suppose it will be okay after I get used to it”. He mentioned his wife and son, telling his parents that “Gloria and the baby… [are] coming to stay” although he was not sure when.

A few days later, in the early hours of 25 June – the third anniversary of the start of the Korean War – a 3RAR standing patrol in no-man’s land was overrun by a larger Chinese force. Two men were killed and another wounded, but Hazel was not listed amongst the casualties.

The battalion had been under heavy shell-fire throughout the day and suffered several more casualties. It is likely that he was in 3RAR’s positions on Hill 159 when he was struck in the head by shrapnel, suffered a compound fracture of the skull, and was killed instantly.

His remains were taken to Pusan, where, on 14 July, he was laid to rest with full military honours in the United Nations Cemetery at Busan.

Edward Hazel was 28 years old.

His name is listed here on the Roll of Honour on my left, among the 340 soldiers, sailors and airmen who died during the Korean War.

This is but one of the many stories of service and sacrifice told here at the Australian War Memorial. We now remember Private Edward George Hazel, who gave his life for us, for our freedoms, and in the hope of a better world.

Michael Kelly
Historian, Military History Section

  • Video of The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (1/1748) Private Edward George Hazel 3rd Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment, Korean War. (video)