04 September 2018

Percy Foley 11LHR and 11 FAB

The last series of medals I've been researching, all from the Grafton Box, have provided more than the usual amount of challenges. This search was no different with the problem this time being the name the soldier enlisted under.
The National Archives of Australia lists that 1180 Trooper Percy Joseph Foley served in the 11th Light Horse Regiment. However, not long after arriving in Egypt he transferred to 11th Field Artillery Brigade. This meant that his regimental number changed to 1180a causing a bit more confusion in the research. Percy had a pretty interesting war going AWOL on numerous occasions as well as being wounded in action. When he returned to Australia he first lived in his home town of  Grafton, then moved to Sydney were he was married to Nellie but later moved back to Grafton. Percy died in 1951 having not had any children. Then the trouble for me started.
Percy appeared in the public records from 1915 through to 1936. There was no sign of him before or after this time window. It took a bit of time to work out that Percy was born Pierce Joseph Foley and later in life used Pierce rather than Percy.
Typical of the time, Percy had numerous siblings, several who died as infants, didn't marry or had no children. One sister who I could follow through the records was Sarah Jane Foley who married Charles Sare. One of their sons was Harold Hunter Sare who died aged 29 at Coffs Harbour. The local paper reported the death and mentioned that Harold had two young sons name Max and Rex. This information made it pretty easy to narrow the search for one of Percy's great nephews. I now know that Harold's youngest son, Rex, was just six months old when his father died. I'll be sending Percy's 1914-15 Star and Victory Medal to Rex in the near future. Where the British War Medal is from this trio is anyone's guess.
The returned medal tally is now 2250.

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