Robert Donaldson PERRAU (1895-1917)

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35th BATTALION A.I.F.

2nd Lieutenant: 526 Robert Donaldson PERRAU.


Born: 1895. Cooks Hill via Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia. Birth Cert: (No Birth Record)

Died: 11th June 1917. Killed in Action Messines Ridge, Belgium.


Father: William Rowland Perrau.

Mother: Edith Marion Perrau. nee: .


INFORMATION

Robert Donaldson Perrau enlisted with B Company 35th Battalion AIF on the 3rd January 1916 with the rank of Company Sergeant Major, Warrant Officer 2 and was an original member of the Battalion. He embarked from Sydney onboard HMAT A24 "Benalla" on the 1st May 1916.

12th November 1917.

Informant: Private: 1452 George SLADE. I knew 2nd Lieutenant: 526 Robert Donaldson PERRAU. He War Dark. He came from Hamilton I think. He had been C.S.M. of B Company. He was killed at Messines about June 11th by concussion in the new front line just after we had taken it. The Officer Commanding Captain: William Vere Jardine BLAKE. (now Major) sent word down by a runner to get him down to be buried at the back of the line in Plugstreet Wood Cemetery, but I do not know if he was got down. The shelling was very heavy just there. We held the ground. I didn't see him killed. The runner said he was killed outright.

Australian Camp Roulles.

December 1917.

Informant; Captain: William Vere Jardine BLAKE Commanding Officer B Company 35th Battalion AIF. "This Officer 2nd Lieutenant: 526 Robert Donaldson PERRAU. was attached to my Command during the battle of MESSINES and was killed by shell fire in the front line trenches in front of Ultimo Crater (in front of St IVES) on 11.6.17. I can state definately that he was later buried in, as far as I can remember, a small cemetery in the vicinity of PLOEGSTEERT WOOD. The place of burial I am not certain but the burial was carried out, I believe by Chaplain Chaplain 3rd Class: John Edward Norman OSBORN. (Anglican) who was at the time attached to the 35th Battalion, and whom I last heard of as being attached to No: 2 Command Depo, Weymouth. This Officer kept a record of all burials and no dought could give you detailed information in this case.

Major: BLAKE 2nd Training Brigade. A.I.F. (Late O.C. "B" Company 35th Bn AIF)

10th April 1918.

Informant; Sergeant: 12070 Frederick STURCH. B Company 35th Battalion. After the attack on MESSINES we were holding a rough line of trenches in front of Warneton between 2 and 5 a.m on 12.6.17. A large explosive shell landed in the left bomping bay and killed five men including Private: 2079 Edmund Reid HELLYER. Informant was 7th Platoon Sergeant. 2nd Lieutenant: 256 Robert Donaldson PERRAU Officer in Command of the Platoon, was killed, so Informant then took charge of the Platoon, examined the bodies including Hellyer's and took his personal belongings and sent them back to Battalion Headquarters. Hellyer was killed instantly and could not have felt anything. He was buried in or near Ploegstreet Wood. He was a good comrad, and a plucky soldier.

Sydney Bureau. Home address: "Natal" Roberts Street, Camperdown.

10th April 1918.

Informant: Sergeant:12070 Frederick STURCH. After the attack on Messines we were holding a line of rough trences in front of Warneton between 2:00 and 5:00 am on 12.6.17. A large explosive shell landed in left bombing bay and killed five men including Private:2176 James William LOWE (Informant was 7 Platoon Sergeant) 2nd Lieutenant: 526 Robert Donaldson PERRAU Officer in Command of the Platoon was killed, so Informant then took charge of the Platoon, examined the bodies including LOWE'S and took his belongings and sent them back to Battalion Headquarters. LOWE was killed instantly and could not have felt anything. He was buried in or near Ploegstreet Wood. He was a good comrade and a plucky soldier.

Sydney Bureau. Home address: "Natal" Roberts Street, Camperdown.

MESSINES WAR MEMORIAL, 35th Battalion

Corporal: 2600 George Smith HOLLIDAY.

Family Information

Brother William Maurice Perrau died 1965 at Newcastle, N.S.W. Death Cert:30495/1965.

Military Records

Australian National Archives

Under Construction; 15/05/2013-09/01/2014.

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