Reginald Gordon Perry

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PERRY, Reginald Gordon

Service no: 4871 [1]

Place of birth: Orange, 1889

Address: Moulder Street, Orange

Occupation: Magician

Next of kin: Betsy Perry (mother), Moulder Street, Orange

Date of enlistment: 29 November 1915

Place of enlistment: Casula

Age at enlistment: 26

Fate: Joined D Company 4th Battalion 29 November 1915. Transferred to 15th Reinforcement 4th Battalion 2 February 1916. Embarked HMAT Star of England A15, Sydney, 8 March 1916. Admitted to hospital with influenza, Tel-el-Kebir, 18 April 1916. Admitted to Bulford Military Hospital 13 July 1916. Discharged from hospital 27 July 1916. Joined 5th Battalion in France 12 August 1916. Wounded in action sustaining a gunshot wound to the right hip and foot 15 August 1916. Admitted to hospital in Scotland 23 August 1916. Marched in to No 2 Command Depot, Weymouth, from Dartford, 6 December 1916. Detached from duty and marched out to 4th Battalion for return to Australia. Returned to Australia via HMAT Euripides 21 July 1917. Discharged from AIF 19 January 1918.

Date of death: 8 September 1970, Concord

Buried: Rookwood Cemetery, Presbyterian section 05E, Zone A, Grave 1893

When Reginald Gordon Perry enlisted on 29 November 1915 at Casula in Sydney he gave his occupation as a magician. Nothing further can be found on this unusual occupation.

Reginald was the son of Stephen Perry, a well-known local saddler, and his wife Betsy Clarke, and was born in 1889 in Orange. At the time of enlistment, he also had a brother, Stephen Harold Perry, with the 2nd Battalion AIF and another, Roy Stanley Perry, serving with the British Red Cross in Mesopotamia.

On enlistment Reginald joined D Company of the 4th Battalion but was transferred to the 15th Reinforcement on 2 February 1916. In March 1916 he embarked on HMAT Star of England A15 and sailed for Egypt. Soon after his arrival he was admitted to the hospital at Tel-el-Kebir with influenza. On 12 August he joined the 5th Battalion in France and three days later suffered a gunshot wound which shattered his right hip and foot. He was transferred to the West Lothian Hospital near Edinburgh in Scotland.

Reginald took no further part in the war, he returned to Australia via HMAT Euripides in July 1917. On 24 September 1917 the Orange Leader reported the arrival of Lieutenant Steve Perry and Private Reg Perry at Orange Railway Station after they had been invalided home. An enthusiastic crowd of locals were there to greet them and the Salvation Army Band played several patriotic tunes as the train steamed in. Later that evening Mr and Mrs Perry hosted a number of friends at a dinner at their Moulder Street residence. Toasts appropriate to the occasion were duly proposed and drank to the health of the two servicemen. [2]

Reginald Perry was discharged from the Australian Imperial Force on 19 January 1918.

On 26 December 1919 Reginald married Miss Mona McNeil Tully, a daughter of the late Mark Tully of Warraweena Station, Bourke. The couple moved to Sydney sometime between their marriage and 1926 where newspapers record Reginald working a builder and bookmaker. Bookmaking would prove to be his downfall; he was declared bankrupt in March 1926.

Reginald Gordon Perry died on 8 September 1970 at the Repatriation Hospital, Concord, aged 81 years. He was laid to rest in the Presbyterian section of Rookwood Cemetery at Lidcombe along with his wife Mona who died in 1965 and a son, Lloyd Keith, who had died in 1924 aged two months.

Private Reginald Gordon Perry is remembered on the Honour Roll at the Methodist Church Orange.

  • Sharon Jameson, August 2018
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