Percy Maldon Bright
Father Nm: Samuel Bright 1847–1926 born 24 JANUARY 1847 • Bristol, Gloucestershire, died FEB 1926 • Fitzroy North, Victoria, Australia
Mother Nm: Mary Ann Blencowe  born 24.1.1856 Amherst Victoria parents John Blencowe Emma Scown died 1941 Camfield Victoria: Oldest known Ancestor -John Blencowe 1830, Brackley.
Marriage: 1911 to Elizabeth Obree. Victoria Reg 9702
Spouse comments: Elizabeth Hannah ‘Lizzie’ O’Bree (Bright) 1892–1966
born 1892 • Moulamein, New South Wales, Australia died1966 • Hawthorn, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Percy Maldon Bright, 1897, Brighton Vic. Private, 4367, 24th Bn. AIF
- 13 Sept. Enlisted at Swan Hill. Age 25, Occupation Farmer, Married and living at 110 Albert Street, Brunswick, Melbourne, Victoria.
- 1 Oct. Attested at Melbourne and appointed to 24th Battalion the 11th Reinforcements.
- 21 Mar. Embarked at Melbourne on the “Malwa”. Arrived in England and there until October.
- 8 Oct. Sent to France to join 24th Bn.
- 24 Oct. Transferred to the 21st Bn. the battalion arrived at L’Etoile, France. south-east of Abbeville.
- 27 Oct. Route march and bussed to Heilly north-west of Amiens then on to Buire sur Ancre.
- 4-5 Nov. Longeuval.
Relieved the 30th Bn. 8th Bde north of Flers. On the 5th took part in an attack on Bayonet Trench failure of the battalion on flank caused 21st Bn to be exposed WD reports casualties as 16 wounded and 5 killed. On the 6th the WD describes digging a trench forward and records 1 killed and 4 wounded, however, CWGC records 7 KIA this day.
- 11-21 Nov. More frontline activity at Wattle and Carlton trenches. Casualties from CWGC for the period 25 KIA. On the 21st relieved by the Royal North Lancs. Regt. entrained for Mealte and then marched to Dernacourt.
- 1-19 Dec. Move to Amiens sector and back to the Somme. The Bn entrained for Vignacourt and then marched to Flesselles. Then on the 17th Dec returned to the Somme first to Ribemont by train and then marched on the 19th Dec to Fricourt.
- 21 Dec.
Took up positions at Needle, Blighty and Cow trenches relieving the 57th Bn AIF.
- 22-24 Dec. Christmas in the front line. Bn moved forward and WD records casualties as 7 killed and 13 wounded between 22nd and 25th Dec. Relieved on Christmas day by the 22nd Bn.
- 8 Jan.The winter in the trenches takes its toll on Percy and his invalided to England on the Hospital Ship “St David” suffering from Trench Foot.
- 5 -20 Feb. Admitted to 3rd Aux. Hospital at Dartford suffering with Trench Foot.
- 22.Mar. Report to No 3 Command Depot at Hurdcott and stayed there until November 1917 where he is ordered to rejoin battalion in France. Percy missed the following Battalion action in 1917 shown in gray.
- 10-14 Mar.Le Barque Switch east of Le Sars.
- 10 Mar. Relieved 22nd Bn AIF in front line
- 13 Mar. Grevillers captured.Relieved by 5th Bde. AIF.
- Casualties for the period CWGC records 9 KIA.
- 20-21 Mar. Attack at Noreil. “Concentrating on the night 18/19th March we were ordered to attack Noreuil and Longatte in company with the 23rd Battalion. We had the left sector and advanced from Vaulx-Vraucourt at 4.15 am on the 19th.”5 38 KIA 6 KIA
- 30/31 Apr.T”30/31st April our preparations being complete we took over the front line at Riencourt from the 26th Battalion.”5
- 3 May. Battle of Bullecourt.
- . “Our casualties during the operations recounted in this chapter were: –
- Officers, 10 killed, 14 wounded, Total 24.
- Other Ranks, 57 killed, 417 wounded, 60 missing.
- Total 534.”5
- 28 Nov.
After 8 months at Command depot, Percy is ordered to proceed to France.
- 4 Dec. Percy rejoined 21st battalion in Doncaster Huts camp at Locre in the Ploegsteert sector. “Moved to Bulford Camp, near Neuve Eglise on the 15th December, two companies having proceeded the rest of the battalion to take over the Nucleus Garrisons in the Ploegsteert area on the same day.”5
- 30 Jan. “The Division was withdrawn and on the 30th we travelled by train to the Bulescamp area 20 miles east of Boulogne. We were billeted over the three villages of Bulescamp, Harlettes and Fromentels. During our month here, leave to Boulogne was granted and troops travelled in by motor lorry..”5
- 6 Mar. The Bn. returned to the Ploegseert area via train .”6th Mar. The following day we marched from Romarin and took over the Catacombs once more from the 3rd Division.”5
- 22 Mar. Enemy raid on 21st Bn outpost at la Basse Ville
- ” On the 22nd March in a raid on our left Company’s front line posts, which was preceded by a quarter of an hour intense bombardment. The Hun scuppers our three left posts taking a few prisoners from No 8 post, but were prevented from entering Le Basse Ville by No 6 post, which inflicted casualties on the attacking party. As soon as it was realised what was happening a party from Le Basse Ville went forward, recaptured one prisoner from the enemy as he was being taken across “No Man’s Land and re-stabilised our front line positions.”5
- Casualties from the CWGC record 8 men KIA on the 22nd.
- Apr. The Bn. moved to the Somme and spent three spells in the line in front of Albert. Casualties for the month were 24 men KIA as per CWGC records.
- 19 May.The Capture of Vill-sur-Ancre.
“We entered the village much earlier than was expected at 4.30 am and cleaned up about 150 prisoners besides inflicting many casualties. Our losses were very light. Finding the swamp untenable, we pushed out Lewis gun posts, sat in the Caterpillar under heavy shell fire all day and dug in past the village on our appointed objective the same night. The Hun made two attempts to counter-attack, one in the afternoon, which was driven off by Lewis gunfire, and a stronger one at night, which faded away when sighted by our patrols..”5
- Casualties CWGC records 27 men KIA between17-24 May 1918.
- 28 Jun. Moved to Villers Brettoneux into reserve near Blangy-Tronville.
- 2/3 July The Bn.take over the line north-east of Villers-Bretonneuz from the 5th Brigade,
- 4 July Attack on Hamel.
The 2nd Div. with the 3rd and 4th Divisions AIF in conjunction with a few Americans who were attached to the Bn for the experience. “We were near the right flank of the attack and had to advance about 1000 yards across the flat Villers-Bretonneux plateau towards Warfusee-Albancourt.”5
- 5/6 Jul. Objectives were reached and the Bn relieved by the 20th Bn. Casualties were relatively light in this attack with 11 men KIA as per CWGC records on the 4th Jul.
- 22/23 Jul. Villers Brettoneux. Bn shelled with Mustard Gas and Casualties heavy. approximately 160 men affected by gassing enough to be classified wounded and or evacuated.
- 8th Aug.
“Our Battalion acting as liaison with the Canadians across the railway, got full revenge on the German posts on the Mound, which had been annoying us for the past fortnight. The guns were very close up behind us and the barrage opened with a crash at 4.20 am, continuing with deafening violence till 10 am. So accurate was our artillery that scarcely an enemy gun spoke. Having seen the Canadians well on the way, we sat tight in the old front line all day. Past us came ambulances, supply wagons, tanks, cavalry, batteries at the gallop and all the panoply of battle which one reads about in the papers, but for the first time actually seen on the Western Front since 1914. That night the 5th Division, moving through the 2nd had established a line through Vauvilles about 10,000 yards from where we started. The Divisions on either flank were equally successful. Light Casualties.
- 24-25 Sept. Cappy. The Bn is ordered to disband and the men to be distributed across other battalions. However, on the 25th September, this order was placed in abeyance much to the pleasure of the battalion’s men.
- 27 Sept.Cappy to Roisel.
“On the evening of the 27th we marched to Doingt in the dark as mentioned in a previous chapter and the following night continued our move to Roisel, where we billeted in the ruins and remained as Division in reserve for the 3rd and 5th Divisional attack on the Hindenburg Line at Bellicourt..”5
- 3 Oct. Wounded, Beaurevoir Line Estrees Area,
The 21st in the line, war diary reports 2 casualties one of which is Percy with wounds to the right arm and left leg. This most likely from a shell but no report.
- 5 Oct. Ironically as the Bn makes its exit from the front line for the last time in the war Percy is admitted to 2nd Stationary Gen. Hosp. at Boulogne.
- 12 Oct. Invalided to England and admitted to Suffolk Hospital at Bury St Edmunds. The transferred to AIF Military Hospital Colchester.
- 2 Dec. Transferred to the 3rd Australian Auxillary Hospital, Dartford.
- 3-17 Dec.Discharged to No 1 Convalescence Depot.
- 14 Jan. Embarked for Australia on “City of York”
- 13 Apr. Discharged.
- Service Records for P.M.. Bright
- War Diary of the 24th Battalion AIF
- War Diary of the 21st Brigade AIF
- The AIF in France
- 21st Bn History edited by Captain A. R. MacNeil, M.C.
- The Australian Victories in France in 1918, Sir John Monash
Awarded the 1914-15 Star British and Victory medals.
Percy entitled to wear wound stripes on his dress uniform as per this example of a Digger wearing one.
AFTER THE WAR
1946 Electoral Roll
- Bright, Percy Maldon, Piangil, labourer, M
- Bright, Elizabeth Hannah, Piangil, home duties, F
Died 21 Oct 1951 • Nyah West, Victoria, Australia
Burial 23 Oct 1951 • Victoria, Australia