On Tuesday, 19 February 2019 we honoured Private Walter John Styles who gave his life for us, for our freedoms, and in the hope of a better world at a Last Post Ceremony.
Walter was born in March 1890 in Darwin, Northern Territory, to Tom and Eleanor Styles. He was 24 years old working as a labourer when he enlisted to the AIF – the Australian Imperial Forces – in December of 1914.
In February 1915 Walter left Brisbane for overseas service aboard the HMAT Seang Bee, and disembarked on the shores of Gallipoli where he joined the 9th Australian Infantry Battalion.
The 9th Battalion was among the first infantry units raised for the AIF during the First World War. It was the first battalion recruited in Queensland, and with the 10th, 11th and 12th Battalions it formed the 3rd Brigade.
The 3rd Brigade was the covering force for the ANZAC landing on 25 April 1915, and so was the first ashore at around 4.30 am. The battalion was heavily involved in establishing and defending the front line of the ANZAC beachhead. It served at ANZAC until the evacuation in December 1915.
During his service Walter was wounded in action and was transferred to Egypt for treatment and recovery. One month later he re-joined his unit where shortly after he was mortally wounded and died aboard the hospital ship Rewa on the 29th of July 1915. He was buried at sea.
Walter was the first Territorian to pass during service and the family name will be forever remembered in Styles Street, Moil, Darwin.
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 here at the Cenotaph.