Service Number: 72
Enlisted: 10 September 1914, Morphettville, South Australia
Last Rank: Sergeant
Last Unit: 9th Light Horse Regiment
Born: Coromandel Valley, South Australia, 3 September 1886
Home Town: Blackwood, Mitcham, South Australia
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Orchardist
Died: Died of Illness (P.O.W. in Turk hands), Angora, Turkey, 11 February 1917, aged 30 years
Cemetery: Baghdad (North Gate) War Cemetery
Buried along the road on which he was marched in Angora, remains never recovered. , Baghdad (North Gate) War Cemetery, Baghdad, Iraq
Memorials: Adelaide National War Memorial, Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Ballarat Australian Ex-Prisoners of War Memorial, Blackwood War Memorial
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World War 1 Service

10 Sep 1914: Enlisted AIF WW1, Morphettville, South Australia
12 Feb 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Sergeant, 72, 9th Light Horse Regiment, --- :embarkation_roll: roll_number: '2' embarkation_place: Melbourne embarkation_ship: HMAT Armadale embarkation_ship_number: A26 public_note: ''
12 Feb 1915: Embarked AIF WW1, Sergeant, 72, 9th Light Horse Regiment, HMAT Armadale, Melbourne

Memorials to 2 of our WWI Fallen located

* Taken from the National Trust of South Australia, Coromandel Valley and Districts Branch Website

Memorials to 2 of our WWI Fallen located

Soon after ANZAC Day 2019, Coromandel Valley and Districts Branch of the National Trust SA (CVDNT) was delighted to receive an email, via this website, from the Australian Embassy Baghdad.

The message came from a serving Officer in the Australian Defence Force and concerned two of our District’s First World War fallen: Percy Scroop and Harold Sullivan.

The Officer, who we will not identify, has a strong interest in Australian Military history and took the opportunity afforded by his posting to do some research including visiting memorials to the fallen and cemeteries.

Having found Percy’s and Harold’s headstones, he went online to see if he could learn more about these brave young South Australian men – a search that led him to the “Our Fallen” section of this website.

CVDNT committee member Geoff Lock, who researched each of the men remembered in that section of our website, responded to the international inquiry and as the discussion proceeded received the following poignant information.

“Percy and Harold were both unfortunate enough to be captured (as you know) by the Turks at the same moment, 09 August 1916, in the Romani campaign. They were assisting a group of Machine gunners when they were ordered to return to their lines. They were too far from their horses and were overrun and captured.

Both died of disease working on the Berlin-Baghdad railway. Percy died 28 December 1916 of dysentery and Harold on the 11 February 1917 of Enteritis. As they were buried in Angora Cemetery their graves were not marked and they were stripped naked before being buried, effectively eliminating any chance of identification when the War Commission decided to consolidate the various cemeteries into Baghdad in the 1920s. At the time all the NOK (Next of Kin: Editor's note) of the various soldiers were sent a letter explaining what was going on and were told whether their loved one had been:

1. Identified and moved

2. Not identified but moved with a group of other unidentified soldiers and therefore ‘Buried near’ this spot

3. Not found at all

All soldiers whether identified, unidentified or never recovered were given a headstone with their details on it and the families were given the chance to have an inscription on the headstone. The Kipling and Angora memorials spoken of were just a section of the cemetery that all the headstones of the guys they couldn’t find were grouped into. So, both Percy and Harold have actual headstones but their bodies are still in Turkey somewhere.

Please find attached a picture of their headstones and as you can see Percy’s has his mother’s inscription ‘Born at Cherry Gardens South Australia’. Harold’s has ‘He died for us'.”

We are grateful to the Baghdad-based Officer for his dedication and willingness to share his research.

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Harrold "Jim" Sullivan was one of 10 children born to William Adams Sullivan and Harriet nee Woodings of Coromandel Valley, later Blackwood. He and his brother Herbert both enlisted, Harrold with the 9th Light Horse.

Sergeant Sullivan and a small group were captured by the Turks in August 1916. Private McKay was spared as he lay wounded and could not be carried off. The others were made to dump their gear and were marched away to a prisoner camp.

While being marched through snow without enough clothing for warmth, the men became ill and died at various locations along the road in Angora, their remains never recovered.

George William Woodings, a cousin of Harrold and Herbert, was killed in France in 1917.

Harrold Sullivan's nephew, Harrold Ernest Sullivan, served with the 2/43 AIF in WWII. He was killed in action in New Guinea 12 September 1943, just months after the birth of his only child. He had taken leave in March and missed the April arrival of his son. Descendants today honour the memory of these two men, never to be forgotten.