An Ingenious Riff On An ANZAC Day Icon

01 April 2022

On 25 April 2020, Jimboomba residents woke to the not-so-subtle riffs of an electric guitar playing The Last Post.

The mystery of who was playing the unique rendition of the iconic tune was soon solved when local teenager Harrison Sutcliffe went viral for his ingenious act.  

ANZAC Spirit - Last Post on Guitar

Harrison, now 17 years old, taught himself to play The Last Post to honour his great-great-grandfather and commemorate ANZAC Day, despite the pandemic. 

“I’d gone to an ANZAC Day Dawn Service with my mum for as long as I could remember. We’d never missed one, so naturally it was disappointing in 2020 when we weren’t able to attend any services,” he says.  

“It made it more important to me that I was able to somehow commemorate the day. 

“My great-great-grandfather Jack was the trumpeter for his infantry and fought in Gallipoli. He was my age when he went to war, having lied saying he was 19.”  

A FITTING COMMEMORATION 

When the pandemic saw people encouraged to commemorate ANZAC Day from their driveway or balconies, Harrison heard a radio segment inviting brass instrument players to learn and play The Last Post at the end of their driveway on the day.  

It sparked another idea in the then 15-year-old Harrison’s mind.  

ANZAC Spirit - Last Post on Guitar

“I play the electric guitar and I thought, ‘Why can’t guitarists do that?’,” he says.  

“So, I got my guitar and started teaching myself how to play The Last Post. 

“I researched covers that had already been played on the electric guitar including one by Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits. I listened to The Last Post a few times and it took me about 15 minutes to get a full piece going. From there it was a bit of practice to get it just right.”  

THE SPOTLIGHT SHINES ON INGENUITY 

While he only intended for family and friends to see a video, he uploaded of himself playing the piece in his driveway, it was also uploaded to a local Jimboomba community page.  

“They had already been asking what the sound was via the local community Facebook page and me uploading the video confirmed it. It gained a lot of attention quite quickly – it even made it onto the evening news!”  

ANZAC Spirit - Last Post on Guitar

Harrison’s performance went ‘viral’ and he says some people have told him it brought them to tears.  

“It is quite amazing to think that something I played brought someone so much emotion. It is an emotional piece anyway and I was happy to hear they’d felt it was done with respect.”  

“The ANZAC spirit means to rise above and overcome any situation that you are in. Not being able to attend the Dawn Service as I usually would, it was wonderful to tap into my ingenuity to play and share this meaningful piece of music.”   

This year, Harrison will play the Last Post for his community again on ANZAC Day.  

“I never thought I’d play it again, but I think people want it to become a bit of a tradition here, echoing through Jimboomba at six o’clock in the morning.”  

ANZAC Spirit - Last Post on Guitar

COMMEMORATE YOUR WAY ON ANZAC DAY 

The ANZAC spirit lives on in us all, and on 25 April we invite you to honour our Defence community and commemorate in a way that is meaningful to you. On ANZAC Day, you can attend your local RSL ANZAC Day service, light up the dawn at home at 6am, participate online, or hear stories of inspirational Australians who embody the characteristics of the ANZAC spirit.

 

PLAN YOUR ANZAC Day

Tags:
  • ANZACspirit
  • Ingenuity
  • History & commemoration