Service Number: 87
Enlisted: Not yet discovered
Last Rank: Trooper
Last Unit: 1st Tasmanian Imperial Bushmen
Born: Oatlands, Tasmania, 25 December 1877
Home Town: Ulverstone, Tasmania
Schooling: Unknown
Occupation: Farmer
Died: Killed in action, Bronkhurst Spruit, South Africa, 22 January 1901, aged 23 years
Cemetery: Diamond Hill Cemetery, Cullinan, South Africa
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Hobart Boer War Memorial, Launceston Boer War Memorial
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Boer War Service

1 Oct 1899: Involvement Australian and Colonial Military Forces (Boer War / Boxer Rebellion), Trooper, SN 87
1 Oct 1899: Involvement Private, SN 87, 1st Tasmanian Imperial Bushmen

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

Biography contributed by Faithe Jones

Mr. P. McLaren, the well known bandmaster, of Ulverstone, on Monday received sad confirmation of the death of his eldest son Percy, and which despels the doubt he had entertained of the correctness of the report.  Trooper Ward, writing from Balmoral, says:- "Your son Percy was killed in action at 6 o'clock in the morning of January 22, at Bronkhorst Spruit, on the battlefield, where the British were cut up in 1880.  The Tasmanians were the rear flank guard, supported by the New Zealanders.  We were extended in one line about a mile.  The Boers we could see on the stony kopje on our right, and your son was No 4 in my troop.  We, being on the extreme right flank, got orders, with the other Tassies, to occupy the next kopje on which we saw the boers.  We galloped to the kopje, handed our horses to the horse-holders, and advanced to the kopje, where we occupied the first ridge.  The Boers were seen advancing to the same place, and we opened fire on them, they responding with a heavy fire.  We drove them back, and advanced taking the position.  We again advanced under fire, and Percy told me he was wounded.  The enemy being in close quarters, I kept on firing with the rest when Percy called out that he was dying.  I went to him, and the poor fellow said :- 'It's all up with me Kenny,  and he gave me his belt to give to Leslie Burbury.  I undid his clothes and he said he had no pain.  I sent for the doctor and stodd by him till he died, which was only ten minutes after.  He said if I had the luck to return to Tassy I was to tell his father and mother of his death, and that he had gone to a better land, and then slumbered away.  Mr. Sale, our officer in charge, brought the doctor, but he was of no use, and the body was taken in an ambulance to Balmoral, where it was buried very respectably.  The Queensland clergyman read the service, and the funeral was attended by the Officers and men of the different squadrons.  Percy being in our mess, we were the stretcher-bearers, his body being covered with the Union Jack.  The officers and men of the contingent are very sorry to lose such a favourite, he being respected by everybody.'


Biography contributed by Elizabeth Allen

Percy Douglas McLAREN was born in Oatlands, Tasmania on 25th December, 1877

His parents were Percy Douglas McLAREN & Charlotte SHIMMINS