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Pompey Elliott WW1 Battle of Fromelles Biography

Pompey Elliott WW1 Battle of Fromelles Biography

Pompey Elliott By R. McMullin

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Pompey Elliott Aust WW1 Hero

 

POMPEY ELLIOTT was a magnificent Australian leader of WW1. in civilian life he was a respected solicitor in Ballarat. Before World War One he fought during the Boer War where he was awarded the DCM medal for ‘particular daring’ gallantry.

He also was promoted with a Officer’s commission and after the Boer war continued with the law profession and the militia.  At the start of the Great War he immediately joined the AIF and was made Commander of the 7th Battalion.  He was an outstandingly successful military leader who was able to ‘train men to become soldiers’. Amongst his men he was known as 'the bravest of the brave' and was given the nickname 'Pompey', he was renowned for never sending anyone anywhere he was not prepared to go himself.

He was wounded in the ankle while landing at Gallipoli with the battalion. The boot he wore is now part of the Australian War memorial collection. He returned to Gallipoli in June 1915 and was present at the Battle of Lone Pine. After Gallipoli in 1916, he was given command of the 15th Brigade shortly before the disastrous Battle of Fromelles. He was present at the Battle of Fromelles when his Brigade was decimated; he was never able to forget this loss. He went on to lead in the Battles at Polygon Wood, Villers-Brettoneux, Peronne and the Hindenburg Line. During the war Pompey Elliott was MID eight times, made a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George in 1917, Companion of the Order of the Bath in 1918, and his other decorations included a  Distinguished Service Order. Besides his Commonwealth decorations, he was awarded the Order of St Anne, 3rd Class and the Croix de guerre.

After WW1, he returned to his civilian law career and later in 1919 was elected to the Senate. He was plagued with the bad memory of the war years. He made an attempt to suicide by gassing himself at his home. The next day on the 23rd March 1931, while in hospital for this problem he did commit suicide – he was 52 years old. Pompey Elliot was buried on 25 March 1931.

The former PM, Stanley Bruce, attended the funeral and later wrote to Elliott's wife Kate:

'I have just returned for his funeral and I have never seen a greater tribute paid to a man ... it must be some comfort to you to see the universal regard, esteem and even affection in which he was held.'

'May be the best Australian military biography yet to appear.' STEPHEN LOOSLEY, SUNDAY TELEGRAPH

  • Weight in grams: 1000
  • Used Book YES
  • Total Pages: 718
  • Publication Date: 2002
  • Dimensions in mm : 155 x 235 x 62
  • Cover Soft (SB) or Hardback (HB): Stiff Card Boards Printed Laminate
  • Comment: large book
  • Book Condition: Used Book - bumped corners of boards, uniform age toning to pages, pages held tight in bindings- otherwise no other major problems

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