Percy Phillip Collett
Serial No. 3414
2nd Light Horse Regiment
Percy Phillip Collett - Information
Percy Phillip Collett was a member of an Appin family that lived at Mount Britain. Here, he was born in 1895 to Arthur and Rebecca Jane Collett. Percy grew up in Appin, attending Appin Public School. He eventually moved to Pomona in Queensland, finding work as a farmer. On the 3rd of April 1917, Percy travelled to Brisbane to enlist in the AIF. While he was training with the Light Horse, he was granted some leave in July and went to Appin to say goodbye to his family. When he arrived, his family and the locals gave him a send-off shindig at the Appin Assembly Hall. During the festivities, he was presented gifts including a fountain pen and watch. He was congratulated for his sacrifice and wished God-speed and a safe return. In early August, Percy arranged that 3 shillings per day of his pay was to be given to his mother.
Percy set out from Sydney Harbour aboard the HMAT Kyarra on the 3rd of September 1917 with the 29th Reinforcements, 2nd Light Horse Regiment. Percy's unit disembarked at Suez in October, and was marched out to Moascar Camp. After being hospitalised with the mumps, Percy was briefly placed with the 1st Light Horse before rejoining the 2nd Regiment on the 2nd January 1918. By April, Percy was undertaking patrols into the Jordan Valley. On the 11th of April 1918, the Turks attacked his unit. Percy then stood atop the parapet of the trench to return fire at the Turks who were taking cover 800 yards away. While Percy was firing, he was hit by machine gun rounds in the head and died instantly. Sadly, Percy was one of many that were hit during the attack. Afterwards the men of his unit buried him at Ghoraniyeh District Military Graves, located 3½ miles E. N. E. of Jericho in Palestine.
Today, Percy's remains are buried in the Jerusalem War Cemetery, Jerusalem, Israel. Percy's family remained in the Appin area at Mount Britain and Avondale. His story would have inspired his nieces and nephews, two of whom served in the Second World War.