• Percy Pepper

Army / Flying Corps
  • 21st Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Private

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  • 1914–1915 Star
  • British War Medal
  • Born at Ramahyuck Mission, Victoria 1878

    32-85 Ramahyuck Road, Perry Bridge VIC 3862, Australia

  • Enlisted at Royal Park Melbourne, 8 May 1916

    37-51 Oak Street, Parkville VIC 3052, Australia
    Monday, 8 May 1916

  • Embarked from Melbourne for Plymouth, UK aboard HMAT Shropshire

    Central Pier, Docklands VIC 3008, Australia
    Monday, 25 September 1916

  • Disembarked in Plymouth, UK

    2 Custom House Lane, Plymouth, Plymouth PL1 3TG, UK
    Saturday, 11 November 1916

  • Embarked from Folkstone, UK for France aboard Princess Henrietta

    Folkestone Promenade, Folkestone, Kent CT20 1TX, UK
    Tuesday, 12 December 1916

  • Marched into Etaples, France to the 2nd Australian Divisional Base Depot

    62630 Étaples, France
    Thursday, 14 December 1916

  • Joined the 21st Battalion

    Saturday, 27 January 1917

  • Hit in the head by a piece of shrapnel

    Monday, 1 October 1917

  • Granted leave in UK

    Moffat DG10, UK
    Friday, 30 November 1917

  • Returned from leave and rejoined unit in Belgium

    Les Bons Villers, Belgium
    Monday, 17 December 1917

  • Admitted to hospital in Belgium, then transferred to France (Etaples, then Cayeux)

    Les Bons Villers, Belgium
    Tuesday, 25 December 1917

  • Returned from hospital to Australian Infantry Base Depot, Le Havre, France

    Le Havre, France
    Friday, 1 March 1918

  • Transferred to Australian Employment Company from Base Depot

    Monday, 11 March 1918

  • Wrote to the Australian Corps Headquarters requesting permission to return to Australia to care for his unwell wife and seven children

    Tuesday, 14 May 1918

  • Return to Australia for discharge approved

    Monday, 20 May 1918

  • Transferred to Army Headquarters, London and sent on furlough to report to No.2 Command Depot, Weymouth, UK

    Weymouth, Dorset, UK
    Friday, 24 May 1918

  • Returned to Australia, arriving 31 July 1918

    Northern Territory, Australia
    Thursday, 6 June 1918

  • Discharged from the AIF for family reasons

    Wednesday, 14 August 1918

  • Granted a Soldier Settlement block at Koo-Wee-Rup in Gippsland in Victoria

    Koo Wee Rup VIC, Australia
    Tuesday, 1 October 1918

Stories and comments
    • Percy Pepper
    • Posted by NAAadmin, Monday, 20 October 2014

    Percy Pepper was one of about 880 Australian Indigenous people who volunteered for service in World War I. Percy and his wife Lucy were Gurnai/Kurnai people from Gippsland, but under legislation and regulations in place in Victoria at the time, were regarded as ‘half-castes’. This meant that they were not allowed to live on Aboriginal reserves with their extended families, but had to live and work independently. They were nevertheless subject to government regulations that restricted their freedom. Perhaps because he was searching for a stable income with which to support his family, Percy enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force in May 1916, aged 38, and served on the Western Front with the 21st Battalion. In October 1917 he was wounded in the head by a shell blast, and was later transferred to England where he was attached to various depots. In May 1918 he was given permission to return to Australia to care for his ailing wife Lucy, and their seven children. After the war Percy and Lucy took up a soldier settlement block in Koo-Wee-Rup, south-east of Melbourne. Like many soldier settler families, they had difficulty making a success of the small holding and in 1924 it was sold. Lucy Pepper had died the year before from tuberculosis. Percy moved into Melbourne and lived in the inner northern suburbs of Carlton and Fitzroy, until his death in 1956.

      • VICGOVAboriginalWW1
      • Thursday, 26 May 2016

      The VICTORIAN ABORIGINAL SERVICE IN WW1 research project has added links and references to this page in consultation with the Pepper family. FAMILY ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Glenys Watts Robert Critch FURTHER READING Flagg, Simon, Sebastian Gurciullo and Lucy Pepper and Percy Pepper, Victoria Public Record Office, Footprints: The Journey of Lucy and Percy Pepper, National Archives of Australia, Victoria, 2008 Pepper, Phillip, You Are What You Make Yourself to Be: The Story of a Victorian Aboriginal Family, 1842 -1980, Hyland House, Melbourne, 1980 FOR FURTHER INFORMATION about Victorian Aboriginal service in WW1 see link to VICTORIAN ABORIGINAL SERVICE IN WW1 HOME PAGE in the side bar of this webpage or copy this link http://discoveringanzacs.naa.gov.au/browse/groupstories/7396 VICTORIAN ABORIGINAL SERVICE IN WW1 a. This page contains information about and may contain photographs of person/s who are deceased. b. The accuracy of the information provided on this page has been checked as thoroughly as possible Aboriginal Victoria through the Victorian Aboriginal WW1 Research Project. c. There may be additional information which this research project was not able to find or access at the time of publication. d. To the best of our ability we have sought to find living relatives to assist with the research, but we do not claim to have contacted all family members who may have relevant information. e. The information presented on this webpage may be of assistance to you but the State of Victoria and its employees do not guarantee that the publication is without flaw of any kind or is wholly appropriate for your particular purposes and therefore disclaims all liability for any error, loss or other consequence which may arise from you relying on any information published as part of the Victorian Aboriginal WW1 Research Project.

    • Tribute
    • Posted by Mariasmith, Sunday, 28 May 2017

    May Percy Pepper rest in peace. Indeed, he was a respected man who has greatly served our country. Lest we forget