The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (2625) Private Sidney John Fogarty, 2nd Pioneer Battalion, AIF, First World War

Place Europe: France, Picardie, Somme, Albert Bapaume Area, Pozieres Area, Pozieres
Accession Number PAFU2014/427.01
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 14 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 Joanne Smedley, the story for this day was on (2625) Private Sidney John Fogarty, 2nd Pioneer Battalion, AIF, First World War.

Speech transcript

2625 Private Sidney John Fogarty, 2nd Pioneer Battalion, AIF
KIA 14 November 1916
Photograph supplied by family.

Story delivered 14 November 2014

Today we remember and pay tribute to Private Sidney John Fogarty.

Sidney Fogarty was born in Orange, the youngest of a large family. His family moved to Bathurst while he was still a child, and he went on to be educated at the Patrician Brothers’ School there. He was first employed by a coachbuilder in Bathurst, but by the time the First World War broke out he had been working for a cabinet maker for about two years.

Fogarty enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force in early August 1915 and was sent overseas with reinforcements to the 18th Battalion. He spent a short time in Egypt, largely in a Cairo hospital with the mumps, before being sent to fight on the Western Front in France. By the time he arrived he had been transferred to the 2nd Pioneer Battalion.

The pioneers were responsible for construction and maintenance of the battlefield. Fogarty and his battalion were heavily involved in the battles around Pozières and Mouquet Farm in July and August 1916, building, maintaining, or extending trenches, jumping-off positions, and strong-posts.

By November they were working around Flers, laying tracks, building trenches, and filling shell holes.

On the first day I ANZAC attacked the village, Fogarty disappeared. He was listed as wounded and missing, and for months no further news would be heard by his family in Australia.

In the meantime, his mother Alice received a number of conflicting reports. She wrote to the Defence Department to say, “I am very much worried about my son; will you kindly advise me what has become of my darling boy as I am a broken-hearted mother.”

Investigations revealed that Sidney Fogarty had been killed, probably by a bursting shell, on 14 November 1916. He was buried in the field, but his body has since been reinterred in the Warlencourt British Cemetery in France. In May 1917 the Reverend Norton conveyed the news to Mrs Fogarty in Bathurst.

Private Sidney Fogarty, described as a “studious young fellow” and “very popular”, was 19 years old.

His name is listed on the Roll of Honour on my right, along with more than 60,000 others from the First World War. His photograph is displayed today 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 Sidney John Fogarty, and all of those Australians who have given their lives in the service of our nation.

Meleah Hampton
Historian, Military History Section

  • Video of The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (2625) Private Sidney John Fogarty, 2nd Pioneer Battalion, AIF, First World War (video)