Percy Edwin SHAPLAND


SHAPLAND, Percy Edwin

Service Number: 359
Enlisted: 25 August 1914, Surrey Hills, Victoria
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 8th Infantry Battalion
Born: Crediton, Devon, England, July 1886
Home Town: Jeetho, South Gippsland, Victoria
Schooling: Crediton School and Grammar School, England
Occupation: Farm labourer
Died: Died of wounds, Egypt, 4 May 1915
Cemetery: Cairo War Memorial Cemetery
Memorials: Australian War Memorial, Roll of Honour
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World War 1 Service

25 Aug 1914: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 359, Surrey Hills, Victoria
19 Oct 1914: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 359, 8th Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
19 Oct 1914: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 359, 8th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Benalla, Melbourne
25 Apr 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 359, 8th Infantry Battalion, 'ANZAC' / Gallipoli

Help us honour Percy Edwin Shapland's service by contributing information, stories, and images so that they can be preserved for future generations.

Biography contributed by Douglas Booth

Percy Edwin Shapland was born near Crediton in Devon, England in July 1886 to Edwin John and Louise Shapland, nee Reed. He emigrated to Australia in 1906, with his parents and other siblings following in about 1912.

Percy enlisted on 19 August 1914 with a desire to join the Light Horse or alternatively the artillery.  With no vacancies there he agreed to be assigned to the 8th Battalion, 2nd Infantry Brigade, AIF and was given the Service Number 359.  He embarked in Melbourne on 19 October 1914 per SS Benalla as part of the First Contingent for Alexandria in Egypt.  After a period of training in a camp under the shadow of the pyramids at Mena, he was sent to Anzac Cove.

Percy survived the initial attack on ANZAC Day at Gallipoli, sending a postcard of the scene back to his parents at Jeetho, near Korumburra in Victoria.  However, while fighting on the Gallipoli peninsula, on 29 April he sustained a bullet wound to the left shoulder that lodged in the spine, causing a merciful paralysis.  From Gallipoli he was evacuated to hospital in Egypt.

Percy died of his wounds at 8.45 pm in the No. 2 General Hospital at Ghezireh Palace in Egypt on 4 May 1915.  The attending nurse, Sister Boycer, noted it was the “sweetest and most peaceful death she has ever witnessed” as Percy, after having John 14, verse 2 read to him from the New Testament in his tunic pocket said, “Goodbye, I’m going home.”  He is buried in Section B220 in the British Cemetery in Cairo.

written by Douglas E Booth


Biography contributed by Geoffrey Gillon

He is one of three Australian Great War casualties remembered on the Crediton War Memorial, one of whom is his brother. This is to be found on Crediton High Street (A377) and takes the form of an open sided shelter.