The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (1072) Second Lieutenant Philip Tuckett, 49th Battalion, First World War

Place Europe: France
Accession Number PAFU2014/414.01
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 1 November 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
Description

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 (1072) Second Lieutenant Philip Tuckett, 49th Battalion, First World War.

Speech transcript

1072 Second Lieutenant Philip Tuckett, 49th Battalion
KIA 24 November 1916
No photograph in collection

Story delivered 1 November 2014

Today we remember and pay tribute to Second Lieutenant Philip Tuckett.

Philip Tuckett enlisted in the AIF in early January 1916, following in the footsteps of his two elder brothers, Jack and Lewis, and his nephew Francis. The three Tucketts already serving in the armed forces were all doing so in various signals companies.

Like his family, Philip went into signals on enlistment, originally being posted with the 3rd Australian Pioneer Battalion. On arrival in France Tuckett was transferred to the 49th Battalion. Although an infantry battalion rather than a signals company, Tuckett worked with the battalion signallers.

In November 1916 Philip Tuckett received a commission as a second lieutenant, and was given charge of the headquarters’ signallers of the 49th Battalion. Almost immediately his battalion was moved into the firing line, and Philip was kept busy fixing telephone lines. At this stage of the war, maintaining communication during battle was a difficult and ever-present problem. In a time when wireless technology was in its infancy, remote communication was almost entirely dependent on wire. Wires were frequently cut by artillery fire and battalions moving into the lines were often confronted with the remains left by the previous battalion.

At this time Philip’s brother Lewis was the signals officer for the 13th Brigade, of which the 49th Battalion formed a part. The brothers were able to visit in the field as they were working, and Lewis noted that “Phil was absolutely without fear” and was on a number of occasions “quite unmoved” by shells that burst nearby. After three days’ hard work, Tuckett prevailed and got the telephone system of the 49th Battalion back into good working order.

On 24 November 1916, less than a week after first entering the front line, Second Lieutenant Tuckett and Corporal Reginald Hayden went to inspect their telephone lines. This was not expected to be a particularly dangerous task, but they came under artillery fire and were both struck by a single shell. Tuckett and Hayden were killed instantly.

Philip Tuckett was buried together with Reginald Hayden in a single grave in the field, under a cross that bore both names. Tuckett was in the front lines only a few days.

His name is listed on the Roll of Honour on my right, along with around 60,000 others from the First World War.

This is but one of the many stories of courage and sacrifice told here at the Australian War Memorial. We now remember Second Lieutenant Philip Tuckett, 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 (1072) Second Lieutenant Philip Tuckett, 49th Battalion, First World War (video)