The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (2010) Private Stanley Robert Carrick, 12th Battalion, AIF, First World War.

Accession Number AWM2020.1.1.270
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 26 September 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 Richard Cruise, the story for this day was on (2010) Private Stanley Robert Carrick, 12th Battalion, AIF, First World War.

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Speech transcript

2010 Private Stanley Robert Carrick, 12th Battalion, AIF
KIA 10 May 1918

Today we remember and pay tribute to Private Stanley Robert Carrick.

Stanley Carrick, known as “Snowy”, was born on 21 March 1894, the fourth son of James and Elizabeth Carrick of Hobart. His father worked as a painter there, and his mother ran a boarding house for a time. Snowy had eight brothers and sisters, and like his father and at least one of his brothers, went on to become a painter. He “was a member of the North Hobart Junior Football Club, and was known and respected by a large circle of friends.”

Snowy Carrick tried to enlist in the first contingent of the Australian Imperial Force, but was turned down because of dental problems. He attempted again in February 1915 and this time was accepted as fit for service. He underwent a period of training in Australia before leaving for active service overseas in April 1915 on board the troopship Hororata.

Private Carrick was posted to reinforcements to the 12th Battalion with his cousin, Cyril Finch. They were first sent to Egypt, and from there to Gallipoli, arriving in June 1915. Finch later wrote home to say, “we have taken part in several engagements since landing at the Peninsula, the most important of which was just before I left. We made a charge at a place called Lone Pine. Our losses were pretty heavy, but we captured three trenches, and succeeded in keeping the Turks back until fresh troops came to our assistance, when they got a lively time from our boys.”

Private Carrick remained on Gallipoli until the evacuation, and in January 1916 presented to hospital in Serapeum for dental treatment. He was sent to France the following May, spending several weeks at the base depot before rejoining his battalion on the battlefield in late July 1916. Days after he returned to the 12th Battalion, it took part in an attack to capture the French village of Pozieres.

In late August 1916 the 12th Battalion returned to the front line to attack Mouquet Farm, a fortified farmstead to the north of Pozieres.

On 21 August 1916 Private Cyril Finch was killed in action. Carrick wrote, “poor fellow, I was not more than 20 yards away from him when he fell. I would [have] liked to have gone to him to render what assistance I could, but we were charging at the time and I could not stop.” He added, “It will be a terrible blow to his poor mother, but I would like her to know that he died a hero and was respected by all in our company.”

Several weeks later Carrick wrote to his mother to say, “I am in the best of health and spirits, and once more in the fighting line. The soldiering life is not all milk and honey to us boys, but I am pleased to say I am doing my duty, and I hope to be able to do so till this dreadful war is over.”

Although his health suffered during the bitterly cold winter of 1916 and 1917, Private Carrick remained with his battalion for months. He proved an able soldier, and in May 1917, after following up the German retreat to the Hindenburg Line, he was promoted to corporal. Later that year the 12th Battalion took part in operations around the Belgian town of Ypres, part of the British offensive known as the Third Battle of Ypres, or Passchendaele.

In mid-December 1917, Corporal Carrick was granted leave to Paris, and failed to return. He was apprehended in mid-January 1918 and found guilty of being absent without leave in a field court martial. His sentence was to lose his non-commissioned rank and revert to the rank of private.

Not long after Carrick returned to the 12th Battalion, the German Army launched its great offensive of 1918. The 12th Battalion helped to stop the enemy’s advance in a series of desperately fought battles. As the Germans outran their supply and communication lines, their advance slowed, and was eventually stopped in each of the areas in which they had attacked. While waiting for the allies to launch a counter-offensive, the Australians began to aggressively patrol the lines in front of them, often capturing prisoners and even ground using a tactic that became known as “peaceful penetration”.

On 10 May 1918 while the 12th Battalion were in the line near Merris, Private Carrick was a member of a party of four sent into no man’s land. The commanding officer of the raid, Captain McLeod, was the first to return. He reported that Carrick and another man had been wounded and were crawling back. Carrick never returned.

Some days later, when the 12th Battalion attacked across the same ground, they discovered Snowy Carrick’s body. He was buried near where he fell, and was later reinterred in Outtersteene Communal Cemetery Extension in Bailleul. He was 24 years old.

Stanley Carrick was sadly missed by his family in Tasmania, who put notices in the newspaper for years to commemorate the anniversary of his death. In 1922 his mother, brothers and sisters published a poem in his memory. It read:
A beautiful memory left behind
Of a loving son, so true and kind.
I have lost, but heaven has gained
One of the best the world could find.

You are not forgotten, darling Stan,
For true love never dies;
The dearest spot on earth to us
Is where our dear son lies.

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 Robert Carrick, 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 (2010) Private Stanley Robert Carrick, 12th Battalion, AIF, First World War. (video)