The AIF Project

Percy James SIMS

Regimental number6262
Place of birthSprinhurst, Victoria
Place of birthSpringhurst, Victoria
SchoolSpringhurst State School and Wangaratta and Melbourne High Schools, Victoria
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationEngineer
AddressSpringhurst PO, Springhurst, Victoria
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation19
Next of kinMother, Mrs A J Sims, Springhurst PO, Springhurst, Victoria
Previous military serviceM U Rifles
Enlistment date28 July 1915
Rank on enlistmentDriver
Unit nameField Artillery Brigade 4, Head-Quarters
AWM Embarkation Roll number13/32/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A18 Wiltshire on 18 November 1915
Regimental number from Nominal RollComissioned
Rank from Nominal Roll2nd Lieutenant
Unit from Nominal RollAustralian Flying Corp Details
Other details from Roll of Honour CircularLeft Australia in November 1915 as a signaller on Headquarters Staff, 4th Field Artillery Brigade, 2nd Division. Was with unit during heavy fighting on the Somme until 1917, when he was sent to England to train for his wings in the Australian Flying Corps.
FateKilled in Action 29 October 1918
Age at death22.10
Age at death from cemetery records22
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsAustralian National Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux, France

Villers-Bretonneux is a village about 15 km east of Amiens. The Memorial stands on the high ground ('Hill 104') behind the Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery, Fouilloy, which is about 2 km north of Villers-Bretonneux on the east side of the road to Fouilloy.

The Australian National Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux is approached through the Military Cemetery, at the end of which is an open grass lawn which leads into a three-sided court. The two pavilions on the left and right are linked by the north and south walls to the back (east) wall, from which rises the focal point of the Memorial, a 105 foot tall tower, of fine ashlar. A staircase leads to an observation platform, 64 feet above the ground, from which further staircases lead to an observation room. This room contains a circular stone tablet with bronze pointers indicating the Somme villages whose names have become synonymous with battles of the Great War; other battle fields in France and Belgium in which Australians fought; and far beyond, Gallipoli and Canberra.

On the three walls, which are faced with Portland stone, are the names of 10,885 Australians who were killed in France and who have no known grave. The 'blocking course' above them bears the names of the Australian Battle Honours.

After the war an appeal in Australia raised £22,700, of which £12,500 came from Victorian school children, with the request that the majority of the funds be used to build a new school in Villers-Bretonneux. The boys' school opened in May 1927, and contains an inscription stating that the school was the gift of Victorian schoolchildren, twelve hundred of whose fathers are buried in the Villers-Bretonneux cemetery, with the names of many more recorded on the Memorial. Villers-Bretonneux is now twinned with Robinvale, Victoria, which has in its main square a memorial to the links between the two towns.

Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
188
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Albert and Elizabeth SIMS
Family/military connectionsBrother: No.3279, Corporal Arthur Victor Sims M.M., Headquarters Staff, 4th Field Artillery Brigade, 2nd Division.

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