The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (6096) Private Oscar Bruno Knappsberg, 25 Battalion, First World War

Accession Number PAFU2014/028.01
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 28 January 2014
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 Nicholas Schmidt, the story for this day was on (6096) Private Oscar Bruno Knappsberg, 25 Battalion, First World War.

Speech transcript

6096 Private Oscar Bruno Knappsberg, 25th Battalion
DOW 7 May 1917
No photograph in collection

Story delivered 28 January 2014

Today we remember and pay tribute to Private Oscar Bruno Knappsberg.

Bruno Knappsberg was born in the town of Svarto in Finland, which was part of the Russian Empire at the time. He came to Australia as a young man and spent most of his time in and around Kurrajong on the lower slopes of the Blue Mountains in New South Wales, where he worked in orchards. He enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force in September 1916 at the age of 26, and left Australia the following month for a period of training in England.

Knappsberg was posted to the 25th Battalion, and in April 1917 he finally joined them on active service in the field in France. At this time the battalion was in the front or support lines around the French villages of Pozières and Le Sars. On 7 May they had just relieved the 26th Battalion and were holding the forward positions when Bruno Knappsberg was shot in the thigh. He suffered a serious compound fracture and lost a large amount of blood, dying in the nearby casualty clearing station. He had been at the front for only one month.

Knappsberg had made particular friends with John McCabe and his family in Australia. McCabe had liked Knappsberg, whom he considered "a lad of good character", and he tried to include him in his family life as much as possible, recognising his position as "a stranger in a strange land". When he received news of Bruno's death, McCabe acted for Mrs Knappsberg in Finland, obtaining Bruno's personal effects and remaining money to send to her. She in turn found an English speaker to write to him to convey her thanks. In halting English, Mr Lindroos wrote of "warmest sympathy and best wishes from all of us, for all the kindness you have showed Bruno and to Mrs Knappsberg", and added that the McCabes would be in his and Mrs Knappsberg's prayers.

Bruno Knappsberg was new to Australia, but was ready to serve and give his life for his country of choice. He was sadly missed by his family in Finland and by his new family in Australia.

His name is listed on the Roll of Honour on my right, along with more than 60,000 others from the First World War. There is no photograph in the collection to display 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 Private Oscar Bruno Knappsberg, and all of those Australians who have given their lives in the service of our nation.

  • Video of The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (6096) Private Oscar Bruno Knappsberg, 25 Battalion, First World War (video)