Percy Arthur JENNINGS


JENNINGS, Percy Arthur

Service Number: 1729
Enlisted: 30 December 1914, Oaklands, South Australia
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 16th Infantry Battalion
Born: Richmond, Victoria, 2 March 1891
Home Town: Rose Park, South Australia
Schooling: Rose Park Public School
Occupation: Painter
Died: Killed in Action, Pozieres, Somme, France , 6 August 1916, aged 25 years
Cemetery: Not yet discovered
Memorials: Adelaide National War Memorial, Adelaide Pulteney Grammar School WW1 & WW2 Honour Board, Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Tusmore Burnside District Roll of Honour
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World War 1 Service

30 Dec 1914: Enlisted AIF WW1, Oaklands, South Australia
1 Apr 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 1729, 16th Infantry Battalion, Battle for Pozières
1 Apr 1915: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 1729, 16th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Port Lincoln, Adelaide
Date unknown: Involvement SN 1729, 48th Infantry Battalion

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Mr. and Mrs. G. Jennings, of Grant Avenue, Rose Park, have been notified that their son, Private P. A. Jennings, was killed in action, in France, on August 16. He joined the forces early in January, 1915, and left Adelaide on April 1, the same year. For a period of six years prior to enlistment he was employed by Messrs. Simpson & Sons. He was of a cheery and bright nature, and respected by all who knew him. His two brothers, Herbert and Ernest, are at the front." - from the Adelaide Advertiser 25 Sep 1916 (


Private Percy Arthur Jennings was born on the 2nd of March, 1891 in Richmond, Victoria. Percy was 5ft 8inch and had a fair complexion with grey eyes and a light hair colour. On the 30th of December, 1914, he was registered in the Australian Imperial Force (Service No. 1729). Percy went to Rose Park Public school and lived on Grant Avenue, Rose Park (Adelaide, SA.) For six years before his enlistment he was employed by Messrs. Simpson & Sons.  He left Adelaide on April 1st, 1915 – with the 16th Infantry Battalion on the HMAT Port Lincoln. He had two brothers, Herbert and Ernest – who were on the front.

Percy was originally involved in the 16th Infantry Battalion that -    

“Was raised from 16 September 1914, six weeks after the outbreak of the First World War. Three-quarters of the battalion were recruited in Western Australia, and the rest in South Australia. A week after the landing the 16th was thrown into the attack on Bloody Angle suffering many casualties. From May to August the battalion was heavily involved in establishing and defending the front line of the ANZAC beachhead, and on August the 4th Brigade attacked Hill 971. The hill was taken at great cost, although Turkish reinforcements forced the Australians to withdraw.” – Australian War Memorial (AWM)

The 48th Battalion was created in Egypt, 1916. It was known as "doubling the AIF" to create the 4th and 5th Divisions. Percy was transferred to the 48th Battalion on the 26th of April 1916.

“Following the evacuation from ANZAC and with recruits arriving from Australia in large numbers, it was decided to split the 1st Division (1st, 2nd and 3rd Brigades) and the 4th Brigade in two to create sixteen new or so-called "Pup" Battalions.  The 4th Brigade was split to create the 12th Brigade which included the 45th (NSW), 46th (Vic) 47th (Qld & Tas) and the 48th (WA & SA) Battalions.  Together with the 13th Brigade, the 4th and 12th comprised the new 4th Division.”  - RSL Virtual War Memorial

On the 27th of May, 1915 he was ‘taken on strength’ (16th Battalion) to Gallipoli. He was taken sick with diarrhoea to hospital on the 26th of July in the same year. He was taken from Malta to England and admitted to the 3rd General Hospital (Wandsworth) on the 11th of November 1915 – with diarrhoea. His was discharged on the 25th of March 1916 and proceeded to the BEF (British Expeditionary Forces) in Alexandria on the 2nd of June the same year. He then arrived in Marseilles on the 9th of June and fought in the 48th Battalion.

Percy would have had to have been brave, courageous and committed in order to enlist in military forces. He had pride in his country and he therefore had a duty of protection.

“The Anzac spirit legend is a concept which suggests that Australian and New Zealand soldiers possess shared characteristics, specifically the qualities those soldiers allegedly exemplified on the battlefields of World War I.” ­– Australian War Memorial (AWM)

Some of the qualities that Percy would have represented during the war such as; courage, endurance and mateship are regarded as The ANZAC spirit. Others include good humour, ingenuity and perhaps the best reflection of the ANZAC spirit was written by Charles Bean’s in his one-volume history of Australia in the Great War, ANZAC to Amiens.

"By dawn on December 20th Anzac had faded into a dim blue line lost amid other hills on the horizon as the ships took their human freight to Imbros, Lemnos and Egypt. But Anzac stood, and still stands, for reckless valour in a good cause, for enterprise, resourcefulness, fidelity, comradeship, and endurance that will never own defeat."  - Australian War Memorial (AWM)

Unfortunately Percy was killed in action in Pozieres, France on the 6th of August 1916. He has no known grave and his body was never found – although his name is on the Honor Roll in the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, Australia. - Mikayla Black 2016