Frederick Oliver Pierce

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Frederick Oliver Pierce
Pierce Frederick Oliver 1916.jpg
Western Mail 22 Sep 1916, page 23.
Personal Information
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
Description 5'4" (1.63m) tall ; 132 lbs
59.874 kg
; sallow complexion ; hazel eyes ; brown hair
Occupation Sawmill hand
Religion Methodist
Address Jarrahdale, Western Australia
Next of Kin Mother , Mrs Phoebe Pierce
Military Information
Reg Number 383
Date of Enlistment 6 Jan 1916
Rank Lance Sergeant
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
Fate Wounded in Action 31 Dec 1916
Killed in Action 4 Oct 1917 Broodseinde, Belgium
Monument Jarrahdale War Memorial
Jarrahdale Honour Roll
Menin Gate Memorial
ANZAC Memorial Park (Byford)
Australian War Memorial
Medals British War Medal
Victory Medal

Pre War

Electoral Roll entry - 1916 Hoffman's Mill, mill hand

War Service

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.[1]
  • Menin Gate Memorial Ypres - 2015 Linton Reynolds photo
  • Section of the 44th Battalion panels


  1. "Family Notices". The West Australian. XXXIII, (4,863). Western Australia. 3 November 1917. p. 1. Retrieved 29 August 2017 – via National Library of Australia. 

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