Image copyright: Copyright expired - public domain
Public Domain Mark This image is in the Public Domain

ID number H19316
Collection Photograph
Object type Black & white - Print silver gelatin
Maker Unknown (Photographer)
Place made Australia
Date made c 1914


Studio portrait of Captain (Capt) Brian Colden Antill Pockley, Australian Army Medical Corps (AAMC), Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force (ANMEF). Capt Pockley was shot on Bita Paka Road near Kabakaul, 11 September 1914, removed to HMAS Berrima where he died of his wounds; the first Australian officer to be killed in the First World War. After they encountered German soldiers on Bita Paka Road, Able Seaman William Williams was shot in the stomach and Pockley had given his red cross armband to another naval serviceman, Stoker Kember, to carry Williams to the rear. This was done to protect the transporting of the wounded Williams; Pockley was shot shortly after. Pockley and Williams were taken back to HMAS Berrima, one of the ships that had carried the Australian force to Rabaul and they both died on board that afternoon. Six Australians were killed and four wounded in the battle of Bita Paka. "Pockley's action in giving up his red cross badge, and thus protecting another man's life at the price of his own, was consonant with the best traditions of the Australian army, and afforded a noble foundation for those of Australian Army Medical Corps in the war," wrote author S. S. Mackenzie in the official history, The Australians at Rabaul.