The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of Lieutenant John Matthew Hanly, 5th Light Horse Regiment, First World War.

Accession Number PAFU2013/159.01
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 10 December 2013
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 Copy provided for personal non-commercial use

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 Troy Clayton, the story for this day was on Lieutenant John Matthew Hanly, 5th Light Horse Regiment, First World War.

Speech transcript

Lieutenant John Matthew Hanly 5th Light Horse Regiment, AIF
KIA 6 June 1915 Photograph: P01541.001 (3rd row back, second from right)

Story delivered 10 December 2013

Today we remember and pay tribute to Lieutenant John Matthew Hanly.

Hanly was born on 18 May 1875 at Clifton in Queensland. He was educated at Clifton State School before receiving private tuition as he learned to be a farmer and grazier on his family's property.

In 1898 he joined the Queensland Mounted Infantry as a private, but after passing exams for promotion he was promoted to Company Sergeant Major in 1899. Immediately following this promotion, Hanly was granted a provisional commission with the rank of lieutenant. In January 1900 he was attached to B Company, 3rd Queensland Mounted Infantry (3QMI) for service in South Africa.

He embarked from Brisbane with his unit in March 1900 and arrived in South Africa in April. 3QMI were involved in a number of actions over the following year, most notably at the relief of Mafeking, Koster River, the defence of the Elands River Post, and Rhenoster Kop on 29 November, where Hanly was wounded in the ankle. He rejoined his unit five weeks later and returned to Australia in June 1901.

He resumed farming at Dalby until the outbreak of the First World War. He applied for and was granted a commission as a lieutenant in the newly formed 5th Light Horse Regiment (5LHR) in September 1914.

He embarked for service abroad from Sydney on 21 December 1914 and disembarked with his unit at Alexandria, Egypt, the following February. Following a period of training, 5LHR sailed for Gallipoli in May and landed at ANZAC Cove. By the end of the month, the regiment had occupied the front line in the southern sector of the ANZAC positions.

During the night of 6 June, Hanly led a raiding party of 11 men to attack a Turkish position known as the Twin Trenches. When the party neared the position, Hanly ordered his men to charge and was amongst the first to gain the Turkish parapet. They encountered many Turkish soldiers in the trench and in the ensuing skirmish a number of them were killed. As the Australians made to withdraw, Hanly was shot twice in the chest and killed. His men attempted to bring his body back to their lines, but heavy Turkish rifle and machine-gun fire forced them to leave him behind. A patrol the following night failed to find any trace of his body.

His name is listed on the Roll of Honour on my right, along with around 60,000 others from the First World War, and his photograph is displayed beside the Pool of Reflection.

This is but one of the many stories of courage and sacrifice told here at the Australian War Memorial. We now remember Lieutenant John Matthew Hanly, and all of those Australians who have given their lives in service of our nation.

  • Video of The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of Lieutenant John Matthew Hanly, 5th Light Horse Regiment, First World War. (video)