William Henry Leslie PEARCE


PEARCE, William Henry Leslie

Service Numbers: 4198, 4198A
Enlisted: 8 November 1915
Last Rank: Lance Corporal
Last Unit: 17th Infantry Battalion
Born: Richmond NSW, 4 February 1898
Home Town: Maitland, Maitland Municipality, New South Wales
Schooling: Richmond
Occupation: Farm Labourer
Died: Killed in Action (Shot in foot then the heart), Mont St Quentin, 31 August 1918, aged 20 years
Cemetery: Peronne Communal Cemetery Extension
Plot 3 Row A Grave No. 24
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour
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World War 1 Service

8 Nov 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1
8 Mar 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 4198, 17th Infantry Battalion
8 Mar 1916: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 4198, 17th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Star of England, Sydney
31 Aug 1918: Involvement AIF WW1, Lance Corporal, SN 4198A, 17th Infantry Battalion
Date unknown: Involvement 17th Infantry Battalion, Battle for Pozières

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According to the Red Cross Records at the Australian War Memorial William Henry Leslie Pearce, elder son of Sarah and Lawson Pearce of Richmond NSW, was a "Little thick set chap "known as Sandy.

He had joined up at age 17 years, nine months with the permission of his guardian Arthur Glover of E. Maitland. He said that his parents were both dead, but at that time his father was still alive.

According to his war record, he was the father of an ex-nuptial son, to Miss M Mears of Oakhampton NSW.

He died about 6 am 31 Aug 1918 during the hop over. He had been number one on the Lewis gun and was putting it down, because he had been shot in the foot and was going to get it dressed, when about 2 minutes later he was shot in the heart and died instantly. He had been appointed acting Lance Corporal 17 Inf Battalion.

He was buried in a shell hole near where he was killed, but later  exhumed and buried in the Peronne Communal Cemetery Extension. Plot 3 Row A Grave 24

Jean Pearce  January 2015