The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (4132) Private Alfred James Bradey, 48th Battalion, First World War

Accession Number PAFU2014/138.01
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 April 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 Troy Clayton, the story for this day was on (4132) Private Alfred James Bradey, 48th Battalion, First World War.

Speech transcript

4132 Private Alfred James Bradey, 48th Battalion
KIA 31 August 1916
No photograph in collection

Story delivered 28 April 2014

Today we remember and pay tribute to Private Alfred James Bradey.

Alfred James Bradey was born at Mitcham, Adelaide, on 31 July 1893. Working as a labourer when the First World War began, he enlisted for service with the 16th Battalion in August 1915 and was allotted to the 13th reinforcements. He embarked from Adelaide on 11 January 1916 aboard HMAT Borda, bound for Egypt.

Following the evacuation from Gallipoli, the AIF returned to Egypt and expanded from two to five divisions, four being formed in Egypt and another in England. It was during this expansion period that Bradey arrived and found himself transferred to the newly formed 48th Battalion, commanded by the formidable Lieutenant Colonel Ray Leane MC.

The 48th Battalion sailed for France in March, and it wasn't until June that Bradey was taken on strength. The battalion's first major action was in August 1916 at Pozières, where the battalion had two stints in the front line and endured one of the heaviest barrages experienced by Australian troops, losing over half of the battalion in casualties.

A brief respite followed before the battalion went back into the front line, this time at Mouquet Farm. After arriving in the front-line trenches in the early hours of 31 August, the men of the battalion began working on improving trenches and dugouts, many of which were badly damaged and some of which contained patches of knee-deep mud.

The depleted battalion suffered further casualties during the day when Australian artillery fell short into their positions. The Germans also shelled the 48th's position, and the battalion suffered a number of casualties. At some stage during the day, Private Bradey was killed by artillery fire and his body was unable to be recovered. Like so many unknown soldiers, he is commemorated on the Villers-Bretonneux Memorial in France.

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 Memorial's 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 Alfred James Bradey, and all of those Australians who have given their lives in service of our nation.

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