Australian War Memorial marks 10th anniversary of Last Post Ceremony

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The Australian War Memorial is marking the 10 year anniversary of the daily Last Post Ceremony, held in the Commemorative Area.

The first official ceremony, held on 17 April 2013, commemorated the service and sacrifice of Private Robert Poate who was killed in Afghanistan in 2012.

Each ceremony shares the story behind one of the names on the Roll of Honour. To date, the Memorial has delivered over 3,300 ceremonies featuring individual stories of service from colonial to recent conflicts. It would take over 280 years to read the story behind each of the 103,000 names listed.

“The Last Post Ceremony is our commitment to remembering and honouring the legacy of Australian service,” Memorial Director Matt Anderson said.

“Through our daily Last Post Ceremony, we not only acknowledge where and how these men and women died, but we also tell the stories of who they were when they lived and of the families who loved and, in so many cases, still mourn for them.”

Monday’s ceremony will reunite the first pairing of a piper and bugler, both of whom continue to perform regularly. Stephen Ladd of the Canberra Pipes and Drums will play alongside Dan Hiscock, who sounded the bugle at the first Last Post Ceremony and is now the Memorial’s Assistant Manager of Visitor Services.

“This is a full-circle moment for me. To have been involved from the beginning to now having a hand in delivering this important ceremony each day is something I am very proud of,” Mr Hiscock said.

“The Last Post is now associated with remembrance but originally was a bugle call to sound the end of the day’s activities in the military. It is a fitting way to end each day at the Memorial.

“It is a privilege to be able to commemorate our fallen and, as the Memorial’s founder Charles Bean so eloquently put it, to guard the record which they themselves made. The music is such an evocative element of this ceremony, people have an emotional response to the sound of the Last Post.”

Last Post stories are researched and written by the Memorial’s military historians, who begin the process by looking at nominal rolls, attestation papers and enlistment records before building profiles that include personal milestones and military experiences.

Meghan Adams, who has authored 500 Last Post stories, is passionate about the project. She and her colleagues recently hit the milestone of having written 4000 individual stories.

“To have the opportunity to shape these stories and highlight these experiences, many for the first time, is an honour and a privilege. We uncover all sorts of details and are able to share them with the families and our visitors. It is a poignant way to honour their memory,” Ms Adams said.

Tickets are required to attend the Last Post Ceremony. Tickets are free and can be booked on the Memorial’s website:

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