Frederick Oliver Pierce
From Our Contribution
Western Mail 22 Sep 1916, page 23.
|Date of Birth||13 Mar 1891|
|Place of Birth||Mount Cole, Victoria|
|Death||4 Oct 1917|
|Place of Death||Broodseinde, Belgium|
|Age at Enlistment||24 years, 10 months|
5'4" (1.63m) tall ; 132 lbs|
59.874 kg; sallow complexion ; hazel eyes ; brown hair
|Address||Jarrahdale, Western Australia|
|Next of Kin||Mother , Mrs Phoebe Pierce|
|Date of Enlistment||6 Jan 1916|
|Unit/Formation||44th Battalion, B Company / 11th Brigade, 3rd Division|
|Date of Embarkation||6 Jun 1916 ‒ 21 Jul 1916|
|Ship Embarked On||HMAT A29 Suevic|
Wounded in Action 31 Dec 1916 |
Killed in Action 4 Oct 1917 Broodseinde, Belgium
Jarrahdale War Memorial |
Jarrahdale Honour Roll
Menin Gate Memorial
ANZAC Memorial Park (Byford)
Australian War Memorial
British War Medal |
Electoral Roll entry - 1916 Hoffman's Mill, mill hand
Ten days after entering Blackboy Hill camp, Fred was allocated to the 44th Battalion, and placed in D Company.
After 4 months in England, Fred travelled overseas to France through Southampton on 25 Nov 1916. On 30 Dec 1916 the battalion moved into the front line for the first time. The next day (31 Dec 1916) at Armentieres, a three pronged raid on enemy trenches was attempted but failed due to the German wire not being cut. Enemy retaliation was via artillery, and Fred suffered a case of shell shock and was admitted to the 10th Australian Field Ambulance before being transferred to the 12th Casualty Clearing Station on New Years Day. On 8 Jan 1917 he was transferred to the 4th Stationary Hospital at St Omer, before being discharged back to his unit on 25 Jan 1917, arriving there 4 days later.
On 13 Feb 1917 Fred was appointed Lance Corporal, and on 25 Mar 1917 he attended a 3rd Division School for junior NCOs. On 6 Aug 1917 he was promoted Corporal, and on 2 Oct 1917 he was again promoted, this time to Lance Sergeant.
On 4 Oct 1917 the 44th Battalion was part of the attack on German positions that became known as the battle for Broodseinde when all Australian troops fought alongside each other for the first time. As part of the second phase of the attack the 44th suffered relatively few casualties, primarily from enemy artillery , but some from machine gun positions. While the lack of a known grave doesn't confirm that Fred was an artillery victim, it was likely to be so.
PIERCE-Killed in action in France on October 4, Corporal Frederick Oliver Pierce, dearly beloved youngest son of Mrs. P. Pierce, Waroona, brother of George and Will, Waroona: Mrs G. Goldsmith, Mrs. Q. Parish, Victoria; Mrs. J. McIntosh, New Zealand: Mrs. E. Tippett, Perth. In the bloom-of youth death claimed him, In the pride of his manhood days; No one knew him but to love him, None spoke of his name but with praise. Inserted by his Sorrowing mother, brothers, and sisters. Victorian papers. please copy.
PIERCE-In sad but loving memory of my dear friend, Corporal Frederick Oliver Pierce, who was killed in action somewhere in France, October 4, 1917. No loved ones stood around him To bid a fond farewell; No word of comfort could we give to the dear one we loved so well, He sleeps not in his native land, But under foreign skies; Far, far from those who loved him, In a hero's grave he lies. He never shunned his country's call, He gladly gave his life, his all; Be died the helpless to defend, An Australian soldier's noble end. Inserted by his sorrowing friend, Bessie Curtis, Jarrahdale.PIERCE-Killed in action in France on October 4, 1917, Corporal Frederick Oliver Pierce. One of, the best God had given, And one of the best God hath taken away. Inserted by -Mr. and Mrs. Curtis and family Jarrahdale.