Wilfred Leslie (Les) TUCKER DCM

Poppy

TUCKER, Wilfred Leslie

Service Number: 974
Enlisted: 18 August 1914, Bendigo, Victoria
Last Rank: Lieutenant
Last Unit: 7th Infantry Battalion
Born: Lilydale, Victoria, Australia, 16 May 1891
Home Town: Huntly, Greater Bendigo, Victoria
Schooling: State School Huntly, Victoria, Australia
Occupation: Cyanider
Died: Died of wounds, Wimereux, France, 25 July 1918, aged 27 years
Cemetery: Terlincthun British Cemetery, Wimille
Plot I, Row F, Grave No. 29
Memorials: Australian War Memorial, Roll of Honour
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World War 1 Service

18 Aug 1914: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 974, Bendigo, Victoria
19 Oct 1914: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 974, 7th Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
19 Oct 1914: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 974, 7th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Hororata, Melbourne
25 Apr 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 974, 7th Infantry Battalion, 'ANZAC' / Gallipoli
26 Jul 1915: Wounded AIF WW1, Private, SN 974, 7th Infantry Battalion, 'ANZAC' / Gallipoli, GSW hand (septic).
4 Dec 1915: Promoted AIF WW1, Lance Corporal, 7th Infantry Battalion
21 Jul 1916: Promoted AIF WW1, Corporal, 7th Infantry Battalion
23 Jul 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Corporal, SN 974, 7th Infantry Battalion, Pozières
25 Jul 1916: Honoured Distinguished Conduct Medal, Pozières
26 Jul 1916: Wounded AIF WW1, Corporal, SN 974, 7th Infantry Battalion, Pozières, GSW (cheek)
27 Aug 1916: Promoted AIF WW1, Sergeant, 7th Infantry Battalion
11 Apr 1917: Involvement AIF WW1, Sergeant, SN 974, 7th Infantry Battalion, German Withdrawal to Hindenburg Line and Outpost Villages
23 Jul 1917: Promoted AIF WW1, Second Lieutenant, 7th Infantry Battalion
20 Sep 1917: Involvement AIF WW1, Second Lieutenant, SN 974, 7th Infantry Battalion, Menin Road
4 Oct 1917: Involvement AIF WW1, Second Lieutenant, SN 974, 7th Infantry Battalion, Broodseinde Ridge
1 Jan 1918: Promoted AIF WW1, Lieutenant, 7th Infantry Battalion
3 Jul 1918: Wounded AIF WW1, Lieutenant, 7th Infantry Battalion, "Peaceful Penetration - Low-Cost, High-Gain Tactics on the Western Front", 2nd occasion - GSW (right thigh)
25 Jul 1918: Involvement AIF WW1, Lieutenant, 7th Infantry Battalion

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Biography contributed by Sharyn Roberts

Son of Thomas Joseph and Frances Jane Tucker

"A HUNTLY D.C.M. CORPORAL W. L. TUCKER

Another Distinguished Conduct Medal has come to the Bendigo district. Corporal Wilfred L. Tucker, aged 25, single, son of Mrs. Tucker, of Huntly, is the soldier to whom the medal has been awarded. The official account says medal was awarded "for leading his men under intense grenade and-snipers' fire until only one man of his section was unwounded, although he himself was wounded. He continued to throw bombs for seven hours, until he was wounded a second time." When the war broke out he didn't wait for anyone to show him the way, but volunteered immediately, and was quickly in camp at Broadmeadows. He left with the 7th Battalion, and after hard training in Egypt took part in the Gallipoli campaign, where he was wounded. He managed, how ever, to get well in time to be present again at the evacuation. From Gallipoli, then he went to France, and the above brief official account of his bravery there shows how he has continued to do his duty. Several letters have been received from him by his parents since he received his wounds, but in none of them has any mention been made of the feat that has brought such coveted distinction to him." - from the Bendigo Advertiser 29 Sep 1916 (nla.gov.au)

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Biography contributed by Jack Coyne

Wilfred Leslie TUCKER

Distinguished Conduct Medal

Recommnedation for DCM

'Corporal Tucker led his men time after time against the enemy under fusillades of grenades and snipers’ fire and did great work in repulsing the several severe counter attacks made by the enemy regardless of the heavy fire until he had one remaining man in his section. Although wounded in the face he remained there and threw continuously for 7 hours when he was wounded the second time and was ordered away'.                                                                      

These incidents occurred during the Battle of Pozieres on 25th July 1916. Awarded D.C.M 19/08/16  Folio 112                     Recommendation: Captain Oates, Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 184 Date: 14 December 1916                                                                           

The first news heard in the district on Wilfred Tucker appeared in the Bendigo Independent in September 1915 under the heading: - HUNTLY SOLDIER WOUNDED.

‘Mrs, F. J. Tucker has been officially informed that her son, Pte.
W. L. Tucker, was wounded in action. In August 1914, Pte. Tucker was the first to volunteer in Huntly, where he was cyaniding with his brothers. He is a past Grand Master of the Loyal Sir Henry Barkly Lodge’. [1]

Wilfred Tucker was most likely wounded at the fateful battle of Lonesome Pine (Lone Pine), a last ditched effort by Allied forces to force a break through on the cliffs of Gallipoli. We read he had been there at landing in April and evacuation in December 1915.

It would be a full year till the Bendigo Advertiser reported in September 29, 1916 the following: - ‘Another Distinguished Conduct Medal has come to the Bendigo district. Corporal Wilfred L. Tucker, aged 25, single, son of Mrs. Tucker, of Huntly, is the soldier to whom the medal has been awarded. The official account says the medal was awarded "for leading his men under intense grenade and-sniper fire until only one man of his section was unwounded, although he himself was wounded. He continued to throw bombs for seven hours, until he was wounded a second time. When the war broke out he didn't wait for anyone to show him the way, but volunteered immediately, and was quickly in camp at Broadmeadows. He left with the 7th Battalion, and after hard training in Egypt took part in the Gallipoli campaign, where he was wounded. He managed, however, to get well in time to be present again at the evacuation. From Gallipoli, then he went to France, and the above brief official account of his bravery there shows how he has continued to do his duty. Several letters have been received from him by his parents since he received his wounds, but in none of them has any mention been made of the feat that has brought such coveted distinction to him." [2]

The district would hear from Wilfred in February 1917: -
The last mail from England brought to the secretary of the
Huntly 'branch of the Red Cross Society, the following appreciative letter from Sergeant W. L. Tucker, written from "Somewhere in France" on November 31 last: -
"Dear Madam, I have much pleasure in thanking you for a parcel which I received (through my sister) some time ago, whilst up to my waist in mud somewhere on the Somme. Please tell all the ladies connected with the society that we fully appreciate the splendid work they are doing. Parcels are always welcomed by the boys, especially at present, as it is such terrible cold weather. I am down with rheumatism at present, but expect to be back in the line with the boys again shortly, I hope with my usual good luck. It will be well after Christmas when you receive this, and I hope, you will all have a bonny time. This will be my third Christmas abroad. I am quite used to it, but would appreciate a change. In conclusion, dear friend I wish the society and all concerned with it, the best of everything. I remain sincerely yours. SGT. W. L.TUCKER.[3]  

Promoted to Lieutenant in January 1918, Wilfred Tucker would be unfortunately ‘Wounded in Action’ GSW to thigh on July 3 on the Somme battlefield and died of his wounds on July 26, 1918.     

                                                                            

SERVICE DETAILS:

Regimental No. 974

Date of birth: 16 May 1891

Place of birth: Lilydale, Victoria

School: Huntly State School

Religion: Church of England

Occupation: Cyanider

Address: Huntly Post Office, via Bendigo

Marital status: Single

Age at enlistment: 23

Next of kin: Mother, Mrs Frances J Tucker, Huntly P.O, Father deceased Thomas Joseph Tucker

Enlistment date: 18 August 1914

Unit name: 7th Battalion, H Company

Embarked: Transport A20 Hororata on 19 October 1914

Final Rank:  Lieutenant, Promotion date: 1 January 1918

Fate Died of wounds 26 July 1918, Age 27

Battle Of Pozieres on 25th July 1916.

The task of moving through the Pozieres village was given to the 2nd Brigade on 24 July, 1916. After 3 days of battle, on the 27th of July, the 1st Division lost 5,285 officers and men and was replaced by the Australian 2nd Division, commanded by Major General Legge. The Pozières area was the only place in which any ground had been gained on a 2.5 kilometre front of General Haig's attack on the German IV Corps.

[1] Bendigo Independent (Vic. : 1891 - 1918)  Fri 3 Sep 1915  Page 6 HUNTLY SOLDIER WOUNDED.                                                       [2] Bendigo Advertiser, September 29, 1916. P. 5.–A Huntley DCM

[3] Bendigo Independent (Vic. : 1891 - 1918)  Sat 17 Feb 1917  Page 7 Red Cross Gifts.

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Biography contributed by Robert Wight

Wounded at Hazebrouck 5 July 1918. Initially transferred to 1st ACCS and then No 8 Stationary Hospital at Wimereux, France, where he died of his wounds on 25 July 1918.