Percy BEAGLEHOLE

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BEAGLEHOLE, Percy

Service Number: 3760
Enlisted: 12 October 1915, Adelaide, South Australia
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 50th Infantry Battalion
Born: Moonta, South Australia, 8 March 1891
Home Town: Moonta, Copper Coast, South Australia
Schooling: Moonta Public School, South Australia
Occupation: Shop Assistant
Died: Killed in Action, France, 16 August 1916, aged 25 years
Cemetery: No known grave - "Known Unto God"
No known grave
Memorials: Adelaide National War Memorial, Australian War Memorial, Roll of Honour, Moonta All Saint's Anglican Church Memorial Honour Roll, Moonta Soldiers War Memorial Arch, Moonta War Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux Memorial (Australian National Memorial - France), Weetulta War Memorial Gates
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World War 1 Service

12 Oct 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Adelaide, South Australia
7 Feb 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 3760, 27th Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
7 Feb 1916: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 3760, 27th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Miltiades, Adelaide
12 Aug 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 3760, 50th Infantry Battalion, Pozières

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Biography

Son of John BEAGLEHOLE and Clara Priscilla nee CRUTCHETT

"LATE PRIVATE P. BEAGLEHOLE, MOONTA.

Private Percy Beaglehole, who was killed in action in France on August 16, was the eldest son of Mr. John Beaglehole, of Moonta. The deceased enlisted September, 1915, from Moonta, where he had occupied a position in his father's business. His genial disposition made him friends. He was a member of the United Order of Druids Lodge, Moonta. Deep regret is expressed throughout the district at the sad news of his death." - from the Adelaide Daily Herald 29 Sep 1916 (nla.gov.au)

 

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Biography contributed by Peter Gaisford

Percy Beaglehole was a young and innocent soldier who is remembered for the sacrifices he made, the commitment he served and the liberty he displayed during his experience at the war. Beaglehole grew up intending to make a good impression as he was the eldest of three sons and ensured himself that he would work hard to be a good role model to many. The reason for Beagleholes urge to enlist for war was an eagerness to help his family during this time and his country, family and friends said that it was a huge regret of theirs to let him go.  ('Percy BEAGLEHOLE' 2020)  

Percy Beaglehole was born and raised in his small hometown of Moonta to parents Clara Priscilla Beaglehole and John Beaglehole. To many’s disbelief and sorrow, on August 16, 1916, Percy’s time serving at war had sadly come to an end and family and friends had to say goodbye to the loyal and dedicated soldier by the name of Percy Beaglehole. During the Battle of the Mouquet farm, along with many more soldiers, Percy Beaglehole was shot in action, passing away instantly.  ('Percy BEAGLEHOLE' 2020) 

Percy Beaglehole boldly displayed the true values of the Anzac Spirit. During Beagleholes time at War, he displayed many different core values, but the two main values that were truly important to him were courage and perseverance. Percy Beaglehole had no past experiences with the war, and none of his relatives had any war experience either. ('Obituary - Percy Beaglehole - Obituaries Australia' 2020) Knowing this, it was a big responsibility for Beaglehole to step up and take this role for his family and the country. At only 23 years of age,  ('Percy BEAGLEHOLE' 2020) Beaglehole displayed much more confidence than any other individual. Leaving his family at such a young age for an opportunity that he did not know what to expect, takes courage. Beaglehole went into the war expecting an adventure and opportunity of a lifetime, instead, he got what he least expected and found it hard to deal with the conditions alongside many other soldiers who were finding it tough too. But even when things did get hard, he fought through it and pushed on, displaying perseverance in everything that he did. Beaglehole did not only display these values himself, but it also influenced the people around him too. Percy Beaglehole is, and always will be, the Anzac role model that anyone seeking for inspiration, should follow by.  ('Details' 2020) 

 

PART A

Percy Beaglehole boldly and bravely filled the true values of being an Anzac leader, and confidently filled these values through displaying true Anzac spirit. Beaglehole’s commitment and dedication he made shone through in knowing that he participated and assisted in two different battalions in the war. One of these being the 50th Infantry Battalion taking place on the 12th of August, 1916 and the 27th Infantry Battalion, taking place in 1916 on 7th of February. Beaglehole served in these two infantry Battalions during the WW1 service but was also involved in the Battle of the Mouquet farm, 23rd of July, 1916. ('Obituary - Percy Beaglehole - Obituaries Australia' 2020) 


The 27th Infantry Battalion that Percy Beaglehole served in was the second of all the predominantly South Australian Battalions to have fought during World War One. This Battalion was allocated to the 7th Brigade in the Second Division of the Army. There were around 8,000 volunteers that signed up to help, but 1169 of all ranks died on active service. The 27th Battalion was fought in South Australia, Beaglehole’s home state of Australia. (See figure 1) This is a very special Battalion for Beaglehole to have served in as it was one of the first Battalions to be held in South Australia, but because he was raised in South Australia himself, made it so much more to be proud of.  ('27th Infantry Battalion' 2020) 


The 50th Battalion was held in Egypt, a role of the process that was known as the “doubling the AIF”. They used this to create the 4th and 5th divisions. After the arrival of soldiers from the Gallipoli campaign to Egypt, Australian Brigades of 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th, all ANZAC corps decided to form the basics of the creation of the 4th and 5th divisions. This campaign started on the 17th of February 1915 and lasted until the 9th of January, 1916. In total, the campaign lasted 10 months, 3 weeks and 2 days. ('Gallipoli campaign' 2020) To create these divisions, the original sixteen Battalions were split to form “pup” Battalions. Recruits from Australia were picked up and added in, they called this “the doubling of the AIF”. As they formed the new divisions, they decided that the 4th division would make its way to France in early 1916. The soldiers and recruits travelled to France through the Mediterranean port of Marseilles and took a rail journey through the heart of France. The soldiers arrived in France on the 11th of June, 1916, where they began to worry about what they had gotten themselves into. After attacking the first small village of Pozieres, they moved onto the second phase of fighting, where Australians suffered many casualties. (See figure 2) ('50th Infantry Battalion' 2020) 


The Battle of the Mouquet Farm, also known as Fighting for Mouquet farm, began on the 23rd of July in 1916. This fight was a part of the Battle of the Somme and began during the Battle of Pozieres. The battle had begun with attacks from the British Reserve Army, but the farm was lost to a German counter-attack on 26th of September. The Anzac Corps attacked the farm on the 10th of August and surrendered on the 3rd of September. (See figure 3) The Anzac corps suffered around 6,300 casualties during this battle, ('Battle of Mouquet Farm' 2020) one of them included the soldier of Percy Beaglehole, aged 25 years of age. On the 16th of August, 1916, Percy was shot in action, immediately dropping dead, alongside all of the other soldiers that were lost during this period. Beaglehole was shot in France, during the Battle of the Mouquet Farm and this tragedy would have shocked many. Beaglehole had been fighting for some time in trenches before he met his death. This was an extremely sad time for some, as they had lost a family member, friend, soldier and mate. (Memorial 2020) 


Beaglehole’s involvement in taking part in these events displays the dedication and Anzac needs, as well as commitment, courage and bravery. The AIF was the first Australian Imperial Force which was formed on the 15th of August in 1915. (See figure 4) The Army Force was made up of 331,781 men in total and fought from 1914 until 1921. ('First Australian Imperial Force' 2020) Percy Beaglehole sacrificed his time, family, money and himself to fight for our country and defend our nation. Any leader who has displayed all of these many qualities and traits that Percy Beaglehole has achieved should as well be recognised as an Anzac leader and deserve the title of a ‘Great Anzac”.  


The living conditions during the war are described as very unpleasant. Not only did soldiers have to deal with the weather, diseases and sicknesses, but they also had to deal with things much deeper such as loss of friends, family members and mates. Soldiers would not only have to adapt to these living conditions but accept it as well as this is what they would be facing for the next couple of months or more. These conditions were very unhygienic and hard to live with, as trenches would be continuously poured on with rain, creating a muddy floor and soaking things wet. Many men would die from lack of warmth or frostbite during these colder months as there was mainly nothing to keep them warm or protected. Soldiers would quite often be starved and fed small portions of food that usually did not contain much protein, or be fed nothing at all. These men have to deal with sudden attacks and agony, as diseases would strike, killing many due to these poor conditions. These soldiers go through a lot more than you may think to do their bit to save our country. (See figure 5) ('Living Conditions' 2020) 


Percy Beaglehole was born and raised in the small town of Moonta in South Australia, to parents Clara Priscilla Beaglehole and John Beaglehole. (See figure 6) He was the eldest of 3 sons and attended Moonta Public School for his schooling with all of his younger brothers. ('Percy BEAGLEHOLE' 2020) Percy Beaglehole was occupied as a shop assistant and had an occupied position in his Father's business, in which his father was a produce merchant.  ('Biography - John Beaglehole - People Australia' 2020) Clara Priscilla Beaglehole was occupied as a compositor in the local printing office in Moonta. ('Obituary - Clara Priscilla Beaglehole - Obituaries Australia' 2020) The Beaglehole family was not large, so they often spent time during school holidays and breaks with Percy’s cousins, the Southcott family. A Personal story of Percy Beaglehole’s childhood was when he was in a vehicle accident. A newspaper article states “A VEHICLE CAPSIZED. AN ADELAIDE BOY KILLED. ANOTHER LAD INJURED.” (See figure 7) On January 13, 1902, Percy Beaglehole was a victim in a vehicle accident, location Moonta, South Australia, aged 11. He and his cousin, Arnold Southcott, were driving a spring-cart with their uncle when suddenly it capsized, Percy being thrown out of the cart while his cousin, Arnold was pinned to the ground, causing an injury to the lungs. Later on that day, sadly, Arnold Southcott was lost. ('A VEHICLE CAPSIZED, - AN ADELAIDE BOY KILLED. ANOTHER LAD INJURED. Moonta, January 13. - Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1895 - 1954) - 18 Jan 1902' 2020) 


The 50th Battalion was an Australian Army Battalion. It was formerly raised in Egypt in early 1916, but after the formation of the unit, it moved on and took place in Europe. Soldiers fought in trenches across the Western Front in countries such as France and Belgium. The first attack was at Mouquet Farm, where German was a targeted fierce rival. By the 22nd of August, the Australians made more attempts on the eastern side of the farm and realised that the Germans had the main defensive position, as they had excavated the cellars to make dug-out underground bunkers. The Australian Corps continued to fight and captured ground with remains of trenches, using hand-to-hand fighting even underground. The next procedures to get to the farm were watched by the German artillery observers, who would direct fire on any attackers that got anywhere near close. Since the Germans were in such a powerful position at that time, there were many casualties and thousands were lost. Attack after attack, German still were prepared and held ground in their underground bunkers, but as more countries such as Canada began to fight, Germany slowly lost their power. Underground tunnels and bunkers were bombed to reveal the German machine-gun nests that have been used in previous attacks. On the 3rd of September, 1916, the Australian Corps surrendered, leaving the fight for other countries to conquer. (See figure 8) ('Battle of Mouquet Farm' 2020) 


Percy Beaglehole achieved many things during his time serving in the war. For example, Beaglehole was awarded two medals, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.  ('Details' 2020) These two medals were awarded to Beaglehole for his courage and commitment during the war. The British War Medal is a campaign medal of the United Kingdom, which is awarded to men and officers of British and Imperial forces during World War 1. There are two different versions of this Medal produced. ('British War Medal' 2020) (See figure 9) The Victory Medal is a United Kingdom and British Empire campaign medal, also awarded to officers and men who served in World War 1. (See figure 10)('Victory Medal (United Kingdom)' 2020)  


Percy Beaglehole, from the small hometown of Moonta, packed up his bags at the age of 23 and left his family behind to serve in the war. Little did he know what he was getting himself into, but he was for sure ready for the adventure. Willing to give up his all for our country, he was a fighter. And even though he may not be among us today, his Anzac spirit is not lost, but is yet still fighting. Lest We Forget. 

 

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