Philip Samuel (Phil) TUCKETT

Poppy

TUCKETT, Philip Samuel

Service Number: 1072
Enlisted: 3 January 1916, Perth, Western Australia
Last Rank: Second Lieutenant
Last Unit: 49th Infantry Battalion
Born: Violet Town, Victoria, November 1885
Home Town: Victoria Park, Victoria Park, Western Australia
Schooling: Violet Town State School
Occupation: Survey hand
Died: Killed in Action, Belgium, 24 November 1916
Cemetery: Bulls Road Cemetery, Flers
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Bickford Soldiers Memorial Hall Honour Roll and Memorial Plaque, Bickford Young Mens Club HR
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World War 1 Service

3 Jan 1916: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 1072, Perth, Western Australia
6 Jun 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Sergeant, SN 1072, 3rd Pioneer Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
6 Jun 1916: Embarked AIF WW1, Sergeant, SN 1072, 3rd Pioneer Battalion, HMAT Wandilla, Melbourne
24 Nov 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Second Lieutenant, 49th Infantry Battalion

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Biography contributed by Jillian Watts

Philip Samuel TUCKETT was the youngest child of Maria (Bryans) Tuckett and Alfred Curtis Tuckett. He was born in Violet Town, Victoria, and moved to Western Australia with his mother after the death of his father.

Two of his brothers also served in the AIF - Capt. Lewis Tuckett, MC, MM, MiD (/explore/people/61452) and Lieut. Francis John Tuckett, MC (/explore/people/50007)

Capt. Lewis Tuckett wrote a letter to his mother after the death of Phillip, which was published in the Euroa newspaper, which can be assumed was shared with them by his mother;

"An Officer's Death.

Mrs Tuckett, of West Australia, has received from her other son, Lieut. Lewis Tuckett — at the front, an account of the death of his brother, Lieut. Phil Tuckett, who was killed in action. Lieut. Phil Tuckett was at one time employed at the Violet Town post office, and later at Euroa. 

"Long before this reaches you, you will have had the terrible news that poor Phil has gone. I feel perfectly broken about his sudden end. It seems almost impossible to believe that I shall never see him again. I only hope you will be able to bear up under this awful shock. The last words Phil said to me the evening of the 23rd were. — 'Tell
mother I am too busy to write, but am getting on O.K.' He little knew that the next few hours were his last. I will try and tell you how he spent his last four days— four of
the happiest days he has put in since he left Australia — simply because he was at last in action and had a chance to do his duty. He arrived here on the 19th, stayed the night, and next morning I took him along to his Battalion. His C.O. was very pleased to have him, at once putting his papers for a commission. That afternoon the Battalion moved into the firing line. Phil at once started to fix up his telephone lines as the Battalion that they releaved had left things in a bit of a mess. I went round his lines with him a couple of times and advised him how to improve them. He worked hard for three days and got everything good. The General noticed the difference he had made, and his C.O. was delighted with his work, as I knew he would be. Phil was absolutely without fear whilst I was with him. Several shells burst quite close to us but he was quite
unmoved. He reckoned than he didn't realise what they said. He supposed later on he would get scared. On the morning of the 24th he just went for a stroll over one of the lines with his Corporal and was on his way home, when a shell burst close to them, both were killed instantly, a splinter struck poor Phil in the heart, so his end was painless. The expression on his face was wonderfully calm and peaceful. I buried him yesterday morning. Our staff Captain, who is an ordained Baptist minister in Victoria, read the service and Father Bergin, a R.C. Padre, whom I have known for the last two years, said a prayer. So the dear boy has had what a lot don't get — a decent christian burial.
I am getting a cross put on the grave and will try and get a photo of it and send it to you. The place where Phil was hit was known to be a dangerous point, and he knew
it too, but it was a short cut and better walking, so, of course, danger didn't count with Phil. One consolation is, he died doing his duty like the good soldier he was. But it
is very hard to think that his short life is finished. I know, mother dear, how you will grieve. I wish I could be with you now. Not having one of your sons with you at such a time will make it harder. It is surely fate, as he was only four days in action, and to think that I have been going now nearly two years and have so far escaped. As our French brothers say 'Siest La Guerre' 'It is the War?' Well, dear mother, I pray the Almighty will give you strength to bear your great grief. What with rain, frost, snow and
mud, I have had a great struggle to keep up communication but am doing my best, luckily I have very good men who do their best for me." - from the Euroa Gazette 01 May 1917 (nla.gov.au)

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