Julius (Jude) LAYCOCK

Poppy

LAYCOCK, Julius

Service Numbers: 2712, 2712B
Enlisted: 1 August 1915, Keswick, South Australia
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 10th Infantry Battalion
Born: Glenelg, South Australia, 13 February 1884
Home Town: Glenelg, Holdfast Bay, South Australia
Schooling: St Peters College & Prince Alfred College, South Australia
Occupation: Monumental Mason
Died: Killed In Action, Pozieres, France, 23 July 1916, aged 32 years
Cemetery: Pozières British Cemetery
Memorials: Adelaide National War Memorial, Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Glenelg and District WW1 & WW2 Honour Board, Hackney St Peter's College Fallen Honour Board
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World War 1 Service

1 Aug 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Keswick, South Australia
27 Oct 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Corporal, SN 2712, 27th Infantry Battalion, Battle for Pozières
27 Oct 1915: Embarked AIF WW1, Corporal, SN 2712, 27th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Benalla, Adelaide
23 Jul 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 2712B, 10th Infantry Battalion, Battle for Pozières

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Biography contributed by Evan Evans

From François Berthout

Today, it is with gratitude that I come to honor and shine the memory of a son from Australia who gave his life for his country and for France, I would like to pay a very respectful tribute to Private number 2712 /  Julius Laycock who fought in the 1Oth Australian Infantry Battalion and was killed in action 104 years ago on July 23, 1916 at the age of 32 during the first day of the battle of Pozieres, Somme.

Julius Laycock was born on February 13, 1884 in Glenelg, South Australia, and was the son of William and Annie Laycock.Julius was educated at St Peters College, Hackney, South Australia which he twice represented in the annual cricket contests with Prince Alfred College . Later he was one of the foremost bowlers of the Sturt District Cricket Club, and afterwards of the Glenelg Electorate Cricket Club. For many years he was a chorister at St. Peter's Church, Glenelg. He was also on the committee of the Glenelg Oval, and on the membership list of the Holdfast Bay Yacht Club. He was a member of the firm of W. Laycock, of Waymouth street and worked as a monumental mason.

Enlisted on August 1, 1915 in Keswick, South Australia at the age of 31 in the 27th Australian Infantry Battalion with the rank of corporal, he embarked with his unit from Adelaide, South Australia, on board HMAT A24 Benalla on October 27, 1915 then he sailed for England then Egypt where he joined the British Expeditionary Force on March 27, 1916 to complete his training and was transferred to the 10th Australian Infantry Battalion with the rank of Private before sailing for France where he was disembarked on 3 April 1916 in Marseilles and a few weeks later was given the honor of being part of General Sir William Birdwood's escort when he visited the brigade on the Somme front on April 10, 1916.

Julius fought with great bravery on the Somme front, but unfortunately, three months later, on July 23, 1916 it was in the Somme that Julius met his fate and was killed in action at Pozieres at the age of 32.

Today Julius Laycock rests in peace with his friends and brothers in arms in Pozieres British Cemetery, Somme, and his grave bears the following inscription "I am the resurrection and the life"

Julius, you who, more than a hundred years ago, answered the call of Australia, the call of a nation, of a courageous country, you joined your brothers, your comrades, your friends under the banner, all united in the call of duty to cross the ocean and fight, united in comradeship to protect peace and freedom, not only for France but for a better world, to offer future generations the chance to live in a world without war.With your Australian brothers, your Commonwealth comrades and your French brothers in arms, you fought all together, united as a family, fighting for the man who was next to you, you went through the pains, the fury of 'a world at war, in the mud, in the water and the cold of the trenches, facing death and fear every day so that the world never knows that again. 32 years old, I'm almost the same age as you Julius, you were young and so brave and I do not forget, I never forget that it is thanks to your courage and your sacrifice, the sacrifice of a whole generation of courageous men, real heroes, that I can live and see the sun shine on the Somme.Under the sun, in the serene silence, I walk in your footsteps to understand, to know you, to learn from you and to honor the memory, to transmit the history of each of you who fought and who fell here among the poppies, it will always be an honor and a privilege for me to be there for you, you will always be my heroes, my boys of the Somme, and you will always have a very big place in my heart.At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember him, we will remember them.🌺

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Biography

"LATE PTE. J. LAYCOCK.

News has been received by his family of the of Pte. J. Laycock, who was killed in action in France on July 23. He was born at Glenelg 31 years ago, and was educated at St. Peters College, which he twice represented in the annual cricket contests with Prince Alfred College. Later he was one of the foremost bowlers of the Sturt District Cricket Club, and afterwards of the Glenelg Electorate Cricket Club. For many years he was a chorister at St. Peter's Church, Glenelg. He was also on the committee of the Glenelg Oval, and on the membership list of the Holdfast Bay Yacht Club. He was a member of the firm of W. Laycock, of Waymouth street. His modest and lovable disposition gained for him a host of friends." - from the Adelaide Observer 02 Sep 1916 (nla.gov.au)

 

Julius Laycock was born at Glenelg South Australia and after leaving school worked as a marble merchant and monument mason with his brothers William and Peter.

Julius enlisted at Keswick in July 1915 and a fortnight later his 45-year-old brother Peter (OS) also enlisted and when they sailed aboard HMAT Benalla with the 6th quota of reinforcement for the 27th Battalion on 27 October, were both provisional NCOs. Julias was a corporal and Peter a sergeant but upon reaching Egypt were transferred to the 10th Battalion as privates.

Peter developed a duodenal ulcer in March, and was invalided to Australia and discharged unfit in June.

Towards the end of March, Julius sailed for France and a few weeks later was given the honour of being part of General Sir William Birdwood’s escort when he visited the brigade.

Life for the former marble merchant must have seemed exciting but any day in the life of a soldier at war can be his last, and on 23 July 1916 just a week short of completing 12 months service, Private Julius Laycock was killed at Pozières; he was 32 years of age.

His cousin Major Alfred Cook, 9th Light Horse Regiment died of wounds in July 1915 and his nephew Second Lieutenant Frederick Measday, 27th Battalion was killed in action in November1916.

 

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