The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (3398) Private Stanley Richard Glanville, 56th Battalion, AIF, First World War.

Accession Number AWM2020.1.1.229
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 16 August 2020
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 Craig Berelle, the story for this day was on (3398) Private Stanley Richard Glanville, 56th Battalion, AIF, First World War.

Film order form
Speech transcript

3398 Private Stanley Richard Glanville, 56th Battalion, AIF
KIA 20 May 1918

Today we remember and pay tribute to Private Stanley Richard Glanville.

Stanley Glanville was born on 26 August 1892 to Patrick and Sarah Glanville of Grabben Gullen, New South Wales. His father worked for the shire council as a road worker for many years, while his mother stayed at home with a large family. In 1909, an hour after giving birth to her twelfth child, Sarah Glanville died of heart failure. After the death of his first wife, Stanley’s father took up farming, and in 1912 married Mary McSorley. Stanley Glanville attended the Gullen public school, and went on to work as a labourer in the district his father had grown up in. He was reportedly “highly respected and most popular” in the Grabben Gullen district.

In November 1916 Stanley Glanville went to the Goulburn Drill Hall to enlist in the Australian Imperial Force. His brother Jack had enlisted three months earlier and had been posted to the 2nd Battalion. Stanley was posted to the 56th Battalion and, after a period of training in Australia, left for active service overseas in January 1917. He first went to England where he continued training on Salisbury Plain, before joining his battalion on the battlefields of the Western Front in August 1917.

After his arrival in Belgium, Private Glanville became involved in training exercises in the heavy rain. After weeks of preparation, the 56th Battalion took part in the battle of Polygon Wood, a small yet successful battle which was notable for securing its objectives with relative ease. Glanville came through unscathed, and remained with his battalion throughout the winter of 1917 and 1918.

In 1918 the Germans attacked, pushing the Allied line back several miles in a number of places. In April the 56th Battalion was training near the French village of Villers-Bretonneux, and had worked hard to construct defensive positions in the area. In the early hours of 24 April, the men of the 56th Battalion were called to stand to, with reports that the enemy was expected to attack. Shortly afterwards the men came under attack from artillery, including gas shells.

Despite meeting part of the initial German attack on Villers-Bretonneux, the 56th Battalion played a secondary role in the defensive of the village, and continued to man defensive positions in the area over the following weeks. The German offensive was stopped at Villers-Bretonneux, and at other places along the line, and gradually the sense of emergency lessened.

On 20 May 1918, the 56th Battalion had been in reserve near the village of Hamel for several days. The war diary notes that it was “another beautiful day and organised parties of men … were sent to swim in the canal. The men enjoyed this very much and they appear to be in excellent fettle.” Despite this apparent relaxed peacefulness, the 56th Battalion was in a dangerous place, with active artillery and small raids going on in the area, and by the evening, the battalion had advanced to man the front line again.

At some point on this relatively ordinary day, Private Stanley Glanville was killed. No record remains of the manner of his death, although it is likely that he was the one man recorded killed by shell-fire after the battalion reached the front line. His body was recovered, and today he lies in the Aubigny British Cemetery. Stanley Glanville was 26 years old.

His 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 Private Stanley Richard Glanville, who gave his life for us, for our freedoms, and in the hope of a better world.

Meleah Hampton
Historian, Military History Section

  • Video of The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (3398) Private Stanley Richard Glanville, 56th Battalion, AIF, First World War. (video)