Percy Du Rietz
Serial No. 346
Australian Army Medical Corps
Percy Du Rietz - Information
Percy Du Rietz was born in Balmain c1885. When the war began, Percy was residing in Campbelltown with his parents and working as a clerk. When the recruitment booths opened, Percy was one of the first few to join the AIF, enlisting on the 28th of August 1914 in Sydney.
Percy was allocated to the 1st Battalion as a Private. He was then shipped out from Sydney on the 18th of October 1914 on the HMAT Afric, attached to the Australian Medical Corps. Percy arrived in Egypt, and joined the infantry at Gallipoli where he took care of the many sick and wounded lads, becoming a victim of dysentery himself. After the Gallipoli campaign ceased, Percy and his unit were stationed back in Egypt. In March 1916, Percy left Alexandria, arriving at Marseilles in France. His unit was then marched out to the trenches on the Western Front. Here, Percy continued to look after his mates throughout the Battle of the Somme. On the 19th of March, Percy reported to hospital at Rouen with pneumonia and bronchitis. He was evacuated to hospital in England, and by April was also suffering with laryngitis. Percy was able to enjoy some convalescence at Parkhouse Depot, before returning to France in June. When Percy arrived in France, he was detached for duty with the 1st Field Ambulance. At the end of July, he was then detached to the 2nd Australian Casualty Clearing Station. Percy worked tirelessly to save the lives of and care for his fellow soldiers.
In 1918, Percy's life was about to change. In March, he was granted leave to the UK. Here, he began a relationship with Frances Barry who came from Dublin. Percy returned to France, and continued his duty with the 1st Field Ambulance. Towards the end of the year, Percy was granted a special furlough as he had served in the AIF since 1914. He was granted 45 days leave from October. He used this time to marry Frances on the 12th of November (a day after the Armistice was declared) at the Catholic Church on St Joseph Berkerley Road in Dublin. Percy returned to duty after the war ended. In August 1919, he was granted indefinite leave and returned to Australia in 1920.