PERROTT Harry James
Regiment : 2nd Australian Light Horse Australian Imperial Force
Service number : 719
Conflict : WW1
Date of death : 12th October 1915
Buried : East Mudros Military Cemetery, Greece, Grave III. B. 36.
Memorial : Worcester Guildhall
Also appears on : Wichenford St Laurence Church. Wichenford St Laurence Church Perrott Memorial. Wichenford Village Hall with the information: Pte.
Credits : Parish magazines researched by Eve Fraser.
Harry James Perrot was born in 1890 at Bush Farm, Wichenford, Worcestershire. He was the 4th child, and the 1st son, of Henry and Eliza who had married in 1882. Henry was a farmer and Eliza was the local school mistress so Harry’s attendance at school was very good! After leaving the local school he attended Barbourne College where he enjoyed sports, winning prizes for swimming, running and jumping. He became a member of the Worcestershire Hunt. On the 1911 census, Harry lives with his parents and works on a farm. On 5th September 1912 Harry sailed from London on the SS Ballarat, bound for Sydney, Australia. He was 22 years of age, travelling unaccompanied and employed as a farmer.
Just two years later, Harry gave his age as 28 years and 9 months when he enlisted as Trooper, 719, in the Australian Imperial Force at Mitchell, Queensland on 10th December 1914. On his attestation form he gave his occupation as a farmer and his next of kin as his father, Henry Perrott, Bush Farm, Wichenford. Harry had previous military service of 3 years 6 months in the Queens Own Worcestershire Hussars, he was discharged on leaving for Australia. He had a fair complexion, blue eyes and light brown hair.
Harry proceeded with his unit via Alexandria to Gallipoli on 9th May 1915. On 5th June 1915 he was accidentally wounded at Monash Gully on the Gallipoli Peninsular and he was transferred via Alexandria, where he disembarked from H.S. Grantully Castle on 8th June 1915, to a hospital in Cairo. His ‘accidental’ wounds consisted of gunshot wounds to his head, arm, thigh and foot and whilst in hospital he developed septic poisoning and pneumonia. Once recovered, Harry was sent back to his unit at Gallipoli in September 1915. The following month, on 12th October 1915, Harry died from Enteric Fever at the 15th Stationary Hospital, Mudros, Greece and was buried the same day in East Mudros Cemetery.
Australian Service Records accessed via: https://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/
Reference: Barcode 8010898 Series Accession No B2455 Location: Canberra
United Parish Magazine, Wichenford, March 1915:
To our roll of Honour I have to add the names of Dick Weaver and Henry Perrott, who are with the Australian Contingent in Egypt.
United Parish Magazine, Wichenford, August 1915:
We are all glad to know that Harry Perrott if progressing favourably, but it has been an anxious time for his parents and friends. On top of three wounds he contracted pneumonia owing to exposure, but by careful nursing we hope he has now got the turn for the better.
United Parish Magazine, Wichenford, September 1915:
I am glad to be able to announce that Harry Perrott is now out of danger. He was more severely wounded than we were led by his cheery letter to understand. He was wounded in the head (the bullet is still there), arm, thigh and foot, and septic poisoning set in and there was grave danger of losing his leg, but with skilful attendance he has now recovered and expects to rejoin the Australian Light Horse shortly.
During his stay at the Hospital at Alexandria he came across the Yeomanry of which he was once a member. The pleasure of this meeting was mutual, and both the officers and men expressed their great pleasure at seeing him.
United Parish Magazine, Wichenford, December 1915:
HARRY JAMES PERROTT
2nd Australian Light Horse
The blow has fallen; one of our lads has given his life for his country. Away out on the Gallipoli peninsular, that place which through all succeeding history will rebound to the glory of gallant deeds, especially of the Australians, he has found a soldier’s grave.
He would have wished for no better death. Among the first to offer his services, he was the first from amongst us to be wounded, and now he is the first on our roll of honour dead.
Brought up in the Parish, known to everyone for his bright and cheerful disposition, it is hard to think that we shall never see his smile again or hear his cheery laugh. But he will not be forgotten, he was one of that Australian contingent that so covered itself with glory. Honoured in his birthplace, honoured in the country of his adoption, he has given the best that any man can give for his King and Country – he has cheerfully laid down his life. I speak rightly when I say he died cheerfully for his country; those long, three winter months of forced inactivity when he lay at death’s door, suffering from his six wounds and from exposure before having them dressed, were to him a rather weary time; he longed to be back with his comrades in the fighting line. His letters show that he quite realized the danger his life was in, and with the consciousness of the nearness of death and the daily exposure to suffering, he rested content in a simple faith and trust in God. He did not treat the war saw an exciting game, he saw its gravity, he realized the issues at stake, and like a man he shouldered his responsibility.
We can offer no greater consolation to his family than this: he died for his God and Country, and God who took care of him and has him still in His Keeping will see to them and give them the help they most need in this hour of trial.
A requiem was said for him on Thursday, November 11th, and a Memorial Service was held on Sunday, November 14th, just three weeks after his death. There was a large gathering of parishioners and friends at them latter service. R.I.P.
A photograph of Private Perrott of Wichenford can be found in Berrow’s Worcester Journal Supplement, Saturday 6th November 1915, available at Worcestershire Archives.