The Soldier's Details
- First Name:
- John Edgar
- Nick Name:
- Regimental #:
- ‘C’ Company
- Place of Birth:
- Kookynie, Western Australia
- Father's Name:
- Harley Edwin Daniel Peers
- Mothers's Name:
- Annie Genevieve Peers (nee Grimley)
- Church of England
- Pre-war Occupation:
- Road Worker
- Kranji War Cemetry, Plot 2, Row A, Grave 20, Age 38.
- Cause of Death:
- Died of Wounds
- Place of Death:
- A. G. H. Roberts Barracks Changi
- Date of Death:
- Grave No. 2, A.I.F. Cemetery, Changi
Jack Peers enlisted with AIF 30 April 1940 later joining 2/4th MGB’s ‘C’ Coy with 12 Platoon, under command of Lt. Mick Wedge.
Peers was admitted to 2/10th Australian General Hospital with a shrapnel wound to his left groin and a fractured left pelvis. (We believe at Hill 200). He died of wounds at Australian General Hospital, Roberts Barracks, Changi 0500 hours on 6th March 1942 a few weeks after capitulation. The funeral service was conducted by Chaplain F. X. Corry from the 2/4th Machine Gun Battalion.
John was the only son of Harley Edwin Peers and Annie Genevieve Grimley, who married 1901 at Kookynie. He had one sister Ruth Ethel Peers who died in 1972. Both children were born whilst family resided in the mining area of Kookynie near Menzies where his Public Service Father worked for the Mines Department.
Victorian born Harley Peers enlisted in WW1 from Kalgoorlie on 21 Sept 1916, Service No. 3427 with 51st Battalion, 8th reinforcements. He embarked for Europe on 29 January 1917 and served in France. He returned to Australia on ‘Margha’ on 18 Jan 1919 suffering Trench Feet and Bronchitis. His wife Annie with their two children were residing in Perth.
‘On the morning of 2nd April,1917, the Battalion along with the 50th Battalion attacked Noreuil, an outpost village near the Hindenberg Line. The attack was a success, but the Battalion suffered 239 casualties during the assault and subsequent defence of the village. The next major engagement of the 51st Battalion was the counter-attack at Villers Bretonneux on 24/25 April 1918, during which action the Battalion lost 389 men in just two days. Lieutenant C.W.K. Sadlier won the Victoria Cross for his valour during the engagement. For the action, the Battalion was awarded a total of 4l decorations. The depleted 52nd Battalion was incorporated into the 51st Battalion to make up the numbers for the rest of the war.’
John’s mother died in 1922 aged 42 years just a few years after her husband returned from war.
In 1936- 1943 Electoral Rolls John was recorded living/working as a farmhand at Pingrup (for Mr. Goddard) and we believe enlisted from here.
His father Harley Peers died 14 Feb 1942 Nedlands and was buried at Karrakatta. Jack Peers at that time was hospitalised with severe injuries in Singapore.
NB. When Harley Peers was working/living goldfields towns of Kookynie and Kalgoorlie – there were two other brothers also in town or nearby -working in similar positions of local government.
Harley was the second of seven sons born Bairnsdale, Victoria to John Grimes Peers and Sarah Leadbitter. There was one daughter, last born Mary Octovia in 1883 Bairnsdale.
Alfred William Peers – b. 1869 older brother to Harley (moved to SA & died 1945) was working at Kookynie Local Council during early 1900s.
George Septimus Peers – youngest brother born Bairnsdale 1880. Worked at Kookynie Local Council during early 1900s. George married at Boulder 1908 to Alice May Kelly. George returned to Victoria and died there in 1956.
Other Peers brothers to move to WA include:
John Renwick Peers b. 1874 Bairnsdale died 1954 Nedlands, WA.
Charles Arthur Peers b. 1876 Bairnsdale. He died 1941 at Nedlands.
Harry Blottt Peers b. 1878 Bairnsdale died 1937 Subiaco, WA.
The only brother believed to have continued living and died in Victoria was eldest son Frederick Charles 1867-1885.