Launceston Anzac Honoured At Australian War Memorial

The Australian War Memorial in Canberra will be commemorating the service and sacrifice of Launceston resident Flight Sergeant Albert Beckett at the Last Post Ceremony on Thursday 13 June.

“Albert Beckett was born on 3 April 1921 in Launceston, Tasmania, the son of Albert Charles and Mary Ellen Beckett,” Australian War Memorial historian Duncan Beard said.

“He attended Wellington Square State School and then Launceston State High School, and went on to work as an apprentice carpenter for W.W. Purse and Sons. He was also involved in scouting and was a Sunday school teacher at the Memorial Baptist Church.

“Albert Beckett enlisted in the Royal Australian Air Force on 6 November 1941, aged 20, and trained as a wireless operator and air gunner. In June 1943, he transferred to No. 100 Squadron RAAF, flying missions from bases in eastern New Guinea against the Japanese.

“On 5 September 1943, the Beaufort aircraft in which Flight Sergeant Albert Beckett was serving as wireless operator and air gunner was hit by enemy fire and never returned.

“All aboard were later presumed dead, including Flight Sergeant Albert Beckett, who was 22 years old. With no known grave, today he is commemorated at the Rabaul Memorial. His name is listed on the Roll of Honour at the Australian War Memorial, among almost 40,000 Australians who died while serving in the Second World War.”

The Last Post ceremony is held at 4.30 pm every day except Christmas Day in the Commemorative area of the Australian War Memorial.

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

“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. We also tell the stories of who they were when they were alive, and of the families who loved and, in so many cases, still mourn for them.

“The Last Post is now associated with remembrance but originally it 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.”

The Last Post Ceremony honouring the service of Flight Sergeant Albert Beckett will be live streamed to the Australian War Memorial’s YouTube page: https://www.youtube.com/c/awmlastpost.

The stories told at the Last Post Ceremony 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.

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