Cameron, Percival

Cameron P J KIA

Cameron, Percival James (Private - Trooper)

Percival Cameron was born on 23rd February 1883 at Quorn, where he spent his younger years. Newspaper reports note that he was a prominent athlete & splendid all-round footballer, who moved to Mt Compass with his parents “where it became necessary to exercise all energies into putting the land to profitable use.” He was single and one of seven children born to Robert & Sarah Cameron (nee Harrold). 

In the late 1800s to early 1900s, his father Robert, was a prominent member of the Mt Compass community being one of the first five Trustees of both the Roadman’s Cottage and the first purpose-built hall (now the Supper Room).

The family had a 160 acre property surrounding the Square Water Hole (Sections 695 & 696) where they first lived, and then moved to a home on Cleland Gully Road (Section 230).   

Percival decided to head to outback WA, earning sufficient money through contract work to start his own farm. However, soon after war was declared, and following a drought, he leased out his farm to enlist in Perth on 14th January 1915, aged 31. 

According to his service record, Percival was 5’5’’ tall (1.65 metres), weighed 59.8 kgs, of ruddy complexion with grey eyes and sandy hair. His religion was listed as Anglican.

Private Percival Cameron embarked from Fremantle on 26th April 1915 for service at Gallipoli with the 5th/10th Light Horse Regiment, arriving there on 13th July. He was reported missing on 7th August at Anzac Cove and a Court of Enquiry determined he had been killed in action on that day, at the age of 32 years. His name appears on the Lone Pine Memorial at Gallipoli.

His younger brother Garnet, enlisted in February 1916 and survived the war to pass away in 1976, at the age of 84. Another brother, Alfred signed up twice, but was discharged each time due to ill health.  

His parents are buried at Payneham Cemetery and their headstone bears a memorial to their fallen son.

References: “A Guide Behind The Lines” by Richard Kleinig, trove.nla.gov.au and Arch Peters’ notes on the “Early Residents of Mt Compass”.