No.7288 Thomas James Peacock
Thomas James Peacock was born to English parents Isaac (aged 47) and Charlotte (aged 39) on 15 October 1872 in Melton, Victoria. His father, Isaac, died two years later, in 1874. Thomas was the youngest of seven children. He was aged 44 when he enlisted to fight in the great war.
Pre enlistment, Thomas was living with his wife, Elizabeth, in Footscray, Melbourne who was also his next of kin. Thomas was employed as a butcher. Thomas was described as being 5 feet, 9 ¼ inches in height, weighing 131 lbs. His complexion was fair, though he sported black hair and brown eyes. He was of the Anglican faith.
It was on 30 October 1916, that Thomas enlisted to serve his country. The 44-year-old was assigned to the 8th Battalion, 24th Reinforcement as a private. The battalion departed from Port Melbourne aboard the HMAT A70 Ballarat on 19 February, 1917. After two months at sea, Thomas and his battalion finally reached Davenport, England in late April.
From England, Thomas proceeded to France where he was taken on strength (transferred) to the 23rd Battalion. Thomas's time during action was not without injury. In September 1917, during his time with the 23rd Battalion in France, he was wounded in action (gas blister). This meant he was admitted to the 6th Australian Field Ambulance, transferred to 17th Casualty Clearing Station on the 20th of September and then taken by Ambulance train no. 24 to the 10th General Hospital in Rouen, in the north of France for care. He was admitted to the 10th General Hospital on 21 September, 1917 and was later transferred to England on 19 October 1917. Here, he was admitted to the 1st Southern General Hospital, in Monyhull, Birmingham, presumably from the same injury – his record states "gassed, severely".
The 1st Southern General Hospital was a makeshift one – Birmingham University was used as a hospital during wartime. As he was unfit for duty within six months, Thomas was discharged from hospital on 2 November and sent to the No 2. Command Depot in Weymouth, the following day. Thomas did not return to service after this as he was medically unfit due to being overage and having gas burns.
He began his return home to Australia on board Port Darwin on 11 January 1918, and was discharged in Melbourne on 22 April of that year.
After the war, Thomas and his wife resided in Melbourne, in both Werribee and Ferntree Gully. Thomas died on 2 December 1960 in Heidelberg, Victoria. He was aged 88 at the time of his death.
Medals and Entitlements:
- British War Medal - 8 April 1922
- Victory Medal - 21 May 1923