The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of Private Jack Rutledge, Depot Light Horse Reinforcements, AIF, First World War.

Place Oceania: Australia, New South Wales, Sydney, Waverley, Waverley General Cemetery
Accession Number AWM2021.1.1.131
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 11 May 2021
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 Private Jack Rutledge, Depot Light Horse Reinforcements, AIF, First World War.

Speech transcript

Private Jack Rutledge, Depot Light Horse Reinforcements, AIF
Illness 25 December 1915

Today we remember and pay tribute to Private Jack Rutledge.

Jack Rutledge was born on 2 March 1892 in Orange, New South Wales, the fourth of five children born to Edward and Alice Rutledge. In 1908 and 1909 Rutledge attended the King’s School in Parramatta, where he was in the cadets, and captained the rifle shooting club. After school, he took up work as a grazier on his father’s property at Girilambone, in central New South Wales, along the road between Nyngan and Bourke.

In October 1915, Rutledge travelled to Sydney to enlist in the Australian Imperial Force and serve in the Great War. Perhaps owing to his experience as a grazier and proficiency with a rifle from school cadets, he was allotted to Light Horse reinforcements, and began training to join a light horse brigade for overseas service.

For many young men at the time, the war was seen as a great opportunity to travel and have an adventure. Many never returned home. In late 1915, before he had even left Australia, Rutledge was taken ill with measles and broncho-pneumonia. He received treatment for his illness at Darling Point in Sydney, but died on Christmas Day 1915.
He was 23 years old.

He is buried in Waverley General Cemetery in Sydney, where over 100 casualties of the First World War now lie.
Private Jack Rutledge’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 Private Jack Rutledge, who gave his life for us, for our freedoms, and in the hope of a better world.

David Sutton
Historian, Military History Section