Upcoming Last Post Ceremonies

Private Prudencio Spain

Thursday, 18 April 2019 at 5:30 pm
Darwin Military Museum

Prudencio, or Percy as he was better known in Darwin, was born in Darwin in April 1899, the eighth child born to parents Antonio and Elizabeth Spain. He was a qualified fitter and turner, and was a member of the Darwin Brass Band prior to leaving with the fourth contingent and enlisting to the AIF – Australian Imperial Forces – in Townsville, Queensland, on the 6th of October 1915.

Shortly after enlisting, behavioral problems arose that resulted in him being discharged from the AIF in May 1916 as being ‘an undesirable person’. He returned to Darwin for a short period before leaving on the SS Bambra for Perth where he re-enlisted in December 1916 as ‘Percy’ Spain.

In January 1917 he left Fremantle for overseas service aboard the HMAT Miltiades. After arriving in Great Britain he was posted to the Western Front where he served the duration of the war joining the 28th, 41st, 52nd and 49th Infantry Battalions. He finished the war with the 49th Battalion where he served alongside his brother Felix.

During his service, Percy was wounded in action on one occasion, was gassed on another and in October 1917 was hospitalised in England suffering from trench fever. Whilst hospitalised in England, Percy was declared ‘mad’ by a medical officer, however, no further action was taken to assess his mental state.

While in England, Percy went absent without leave (AWL) on two occasions and when arrested presented himself as a different person – being Percival Verner Boyle. A name he probably assumed from his deceased friend, Lt. Neil Stewart Boyle. Besides assuming another identity, Percy also awarded himself rank and bravery awards.

For being AWL, he was sentenced to periods of detention but at war’s end, he sailed for Australia and (supposed) safety. During a stopover at Durban South Africa, Percy went AWL again and as a result, was not on board when his ship sailed for Australia. He was arrested again at which time he presented himself as Warrant Officer Percival Boyle, Distinguished Service Order (DSO), Military Medal (MM). He was imprisoned on board another troop ship and sailed for home.

On arrival at Perth, Percy was admitted to the Kalamunda Hospital suffering from shell-shock. Although being discharged from the AIF in Perth in July 1919, he remained a patient at the hospital and on 27th September, Percy and a friend attended a performance at His Majesty’s Theatre where he became suddenly ill. He died in the Perth Public Hospital that same day with the autopsy revealing he had died from a self-administered dose of strychnine.

Percy’s tragic death was undoubtedly related to his wartime experiences. For many years it was believed that Percy had died of the Spanish flu epidemic but we now know he died as a result of the stress and trauma associated with the Western Front.

He was buried in the Karrakatta Cemetery, Perth and his name is listed on the Darwin Cenotaph, amongst fellow Territorians who died while serving. His is but one of the many stories of service and sacrifice to be told.


Sergeant Robert Scott

Friday, 19 April 2019 at 5:30 pm
Darwin Cenotaph, The Esplanade, Darwin

Robert was born in November 1910 in Ipswich, Queensland to mother Violet Scott. He was 28 years old working as a school teacher when he enlisted to the AIF – Australian Imperial Forces – in Darwin in October 1939.

Before Robert left for service, in March 1940 he married wife Thelma Beatrice Scott. The following month he was marched out to join Queensland’s 2/10th Field Regiment where he undertook an intensive training course at the School of Artillery in Holsworthy.

From October through to December the regiment conducted field manoeuvres and trained with 18-pounder guns from the First World War. They then moved to Sydney where they boarded the Queen Mary, which had been converted from a passenger ship to a troopship and was apart of a convoy taking troops to Malaya and Singapore.

On the 9th of January 1942 whilst in Malaya, the regiment’s position was bombed for the first time by Japanese aircraft. The 2/10th was in action from then on and was subjected to an intense artillery barrage by the Japanese.

The regiment ceased firing at 10.30pm on the 14th of February and the next day the surrendered. For the next three-and-a-half years 834 of the men had to endure being a prisoner of war to the Japanese.
Robert found himself allocated to the Thailand-Burma Railway camp and on the 15th of February 1944 he passed away of illness.

His name is listed on the Cenotaph, amongst fellow Territorians who died while serving. His is but one of the many stories of service and sacrifice to be told at the Cenotaph.


Corporal Eric Joseph Arthur Feltham

Saturday, 20 April 2019 at 5:30 pm
Darwin Cenotaph, The Esplanade, Darwin

Eric was born in February 1917 in Hobart, Tasmania to Joseph and Ethel Feltham. He was 22 years old working as a motor mechanic when he enlisted to the AIF – the Australian Imperial Forces – in Darwin in November 1939.

In May 1940 Eric left Sydney for overseas service where he joined the 2/23rd Australian Infantry Battalion in the Middle East.

In June 1941 Eric was was wounded in action and evacuated to hospital for treatment of abrasions. He was hospitalised for a second time with suspected Malaria, and after further investigation he was diagnosed with Sandyfly Fever and discharged shortly after.

During his time in the Middle East Eric was recognised for his bravery and his name was mentioned in despatches in the London Gazette.

Eric eventually returned to Australia in early 1943, before he was transferred to Milne Bay in Papa New Guinea in August. On the 24th of November 1943 Eric was killed in action.

His name is listed on the Cenotaph, amongst fellow Territorians who died while serving. His is but one of the many stories of service and sacrifice to be told at the Cenotaph.


Lance Corporal Arthur Bennett Bardsley

Sunday, 21 April 2019 at 5:30pm
Darwin Cenotaph, The Esplanade, Darwin

Arthur was born on the 21st of September 1907 in Brisbane, Queensland, to George and Rosa Bardsley. He was 32 years old working as a carpenter when he was enlisted to the AIF – Australian Imperial Forces – in Darwin in June 1940. He had previously served 4 years in the Australian Citizen Forces.

In November 1940 Arthur left for overseas service from Sydney and disembarked in Haifa, Israel, where he joined the 2/4th Field Company.

The 2/4th Field Company was a part of the RAE – Royal Australian Engineers – and during World War II the RAE served in North Africa, Malaya, New Guinea and Borneo campaigns. The RAE provided combat engineering, construction and other technical support to the forces. Engineers were to conduct tasks including penetrating minefields, locating and disarming booby traps, purifying water, building roads and bridges and were trained to fight if needed.

During his service Arthur was appointed to Specialist Group II in Carpentry in recognition on his skills within this trade. He was also awarded the 1939-1945 Star, the Africa Star, the Australia Service Medal and the War Medal.

On the 3rd of June 1941 just one year after he enlisted Arthur was killed in action in Egypt.

His name is listed on the Cenotaph, amongst fellow Territorians who died while serving. His is but one of the many stories of service and sacrifice to be told at the Cenotaph.


Private Thomas Snell

Monday, 22 April 2019 at 5:30pm
Darwin Cenotaph, The Esplanade, Darwin

Thomas was born on the 6th of February 1899 in Menzies, Western Australia to Andrew and Maria Snell, and was brother to Samuel Snell. Thomas was 19 years old working as a miner when he enlisted underage with his parents’ consent to the AIF – the Australian Imperial Forces – in March 1918.

In July 1918 Thomas embarked aboard the HMAT Marathon from Albany where he joined the 11th Australian Infantry Battalion in London before proceeding to France.

The 11th Australian Infantry Battalion participated in the great Allied offensive launched east of Amiens in August 1918. This advance by British and empire troops was the greatest success in a single day on the Western Front.

The 11th Battalion continued operations until late September 1918, and at 11am on 11 November 1918, the guns fell silent. Following the end of WWI members of the AIF began to return to Australia, and in May 1919 after recovering from a bout of Influenza Thomas returned home.

At the age of 40 he re-enlisted to the forces to the 14th Garrison Battalion in Darwin. Less than three months later on the 18th of February 1940 he died from Pneumonia and was buried in Darwin Civil Cemetery. In June 1944 his body was moved and laid to rest in peace in the Adelaide River War Cemetery.

His name is listed on the Cenotaph, amongst fellow Territorians who died while serving. His is but one of the many stories of service and sacrifice to be told at the Cenotaph.


Private Scott Travis Palmer

Tuesday, 23 April 2019 at 5:30pm
Darwin Cenotaph, The Esplanade, Darwin

Scott was born on the 24th of December 1982 to parents Pam and Ray Palmer and was brother to Adam Palmer. He was 19 years old when he enlisted to the Australian Army in October 2001. He was attached to the Sydney-based 2nd Commando Regiment.

During Scott’s service he was deployed on four operations – Operation Citadel, Catalyst, Astute and Slipper – serving in East Timor, Iraq and Afghanistan. After East Timor Scott also assisted with Border Protection with the Navy before his time in Iraq.

Scott successfully undertook Commando Selection and Training in 2006 and in November that year joined the then 4th Battalion Royal Australian Regiment. This was his third tour to Afghanistan and he was serving with the Special Operations Task Group.

His professionalism was of the highest order and he excelled at everything he did. During his service Scott was awarded the Australian Active Service Medal with clasps IRAQ, East Timor and International Coalition Against Terrorism, the IRAQ Campaign Medal, the Australian Defence Medal, the Australian Service Medal with clasp Timor Leste, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, and the NATO ISAF Medal.

On the 21st of June 2010 whilst serving in Afghanistan with the Special Operations Task Group, Scott tragically lost his life in a helicopter crash.

Parents Pam and Ray Palmer say as a soldier Scott was committed, experienced and professional. He loved both his job and his mates that he surrounded himself with and especially his family. His nature made him able to get past any tough time and drag you through it as well.

Scott had an immense love for sport especially cricket, rugby league & rugby union. Watching a game of rugby with Scott has to be one of the most interesting things anyone can do. He knew an incredible amount about the players and the games and he would certainly do a commentary even if you were at a pub and couldn’t hear the TV, he would give you a great commentary of events and you’d be a brave man to tell him that you disagreed.

His name is listed on the Cenotaph, amongst fellow Territorians who died while serving. His is but one of the many stories of service and sacrifice to be told at the Cenotaph.


Sapper Basil Claude Muller

Wednesday, 24 April 2019 at 5:30pm
Darwin Cenotaph, The Esplanade, Darwin

Basil was born in May 1912 in Chiltern, Victoria, to John and Eliza Muller. He was 28 years old working as a painter when he enlisted to the AIF – the Australian Imperial Forces – in June 1940 in Darwin.

On the 9th of April 1941 Basil was transferred to Tamworth and left for overseas service from Sydney where he joined the 2/4th Field Company.

The 2/4th Field Company was a part of the RAE – Royal Australian Engineers – and during World War II the RAE served in North Africa, Malaya, New Guinea and Borneo campaigns. The RAE provided combat engineering, construction and other technical support to the forces. Engineers were to conduct tasks including penetrating minefields, locating and disarming booby traps, purifying water, building roads and bridges and were trained to fight if needed.

During his service Basil was recognised for his skills and trade and was graded as a Group II Painter.

Basil was mortally wounded in Egpyt when he received a bullet to his abdomen. He was evacuated to hospital and on the 1st of July 1941 he died of his wounds.

Basil was laid to rest in peace in the Tobruk War Cementry in Libya and his name is listed on the Cenotaph, amongst fellow Territorians who died while serving. His is but one of the many stories of service and sacrifice to be told at the Cenotaph.

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