Percy Sidney Raymond Brain
Serial No. 2580
18th Battalion & 3rd Battalion
Percy Sidney Raymond Brain - Information
Percy was born in Menangle on the 29th of May 1894 to Thomas Charles and Ellen Brain.Percy lived with his grandparents, William and Sarah Brain in Elderslie, when his father relocated to Tamworth. Percy began working as a blacksmith in Camden. When he turned 21, Percy enlisted in the AIF at Liverpool Camp on the 18th of July 1915. During training, he was allotted to the 6th Reinforcements, 18th Battalion as a Private. He was then shipped out from Sydney Harbour onboard the HMAT Euripides on the 2nd of November 1915.
Percy arrived in Egypt, and was later transferred to the 3rd Battalion at Tel-el-Kebir in mid February. The following month, he left Alexandria for the French port of Marseilles. The 3rd Battalion as part of the I ANZAC Corps were introduced into a quiet section of the frontlines, known as The Nursery. Here, they got a taste of trench warfare conducting raids and night patrols. At the time, the highly anticipated Somme Offensive did not achieve swift victory. The Anzacs were as reinforcements and moved into the Somme Valley, launching attacks towards the village of Pozières in late July. During these operations, Percy was listed as missing in action. A Court of Enquiry was held to investigate, and men from his unit were questioned. They explained that they were in the trenches in Pozières, when a shell hit and buried him in earth. The Court concluded that Percy was killed in action between the 22nd and 27th of July. Sadly, he was unable to be granted a military burial. His name was later recorded on the Villers-Bretonneux Memorial in France.
His family unfortunately had no confirmation to what happened to Percy other than the court findings. The Brain family had loss much to the war effort. His demise would have brought home the true horror of this war to end all wars, casting a shadow over of the safety of Percy’s cousins, Vhere and William Brain, who had joined the AIF and were serving overseas. They would never get over the grief of loosing their beloved Percy. His siblings and grandparents printed the following in the local paper to honour him:
He sleeps beside his comrades
In a hallowed grave unknown,
But his name is written in letters of gold
On the hearts he left at home.