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Fred Percy was born in Snake Valley, but was living at 97 Humffray Street South, Ballarat East, when he enlisted on 17th August 1914. He stated that he was single, 45 years old, and that he worked as an iron founder at the Union Foundry in Ballarat. Fred Percy was appointed Lance Corporal on 2ND June 1915 On the 11th June 1915 Lance Corporal Percy reported sick and was taken to the 1st Australian Casualty Clearing Station. Here he was identified as having influenza and was evacuated to a ship and taken to St Andrew's Hospital in Malta on 20th June 1915. The battalion helped defend the beachhead and in August was involved in the battle of Lone Pine. On the 30th October 1915 Lance Corporal Percy was promoted Temporary Corporal, and then his promotion to Corporal was approved on 25th November 1915.
In November Mrs Elizabeth Percy wrote to the military authorities complaining about the fact that she had not heard from her husband since the day he enlisted in Ballarat on 17th August. She identified him as Lance Corporal Percy, Regimental No. 318, of the 8th Battalion. An officer in Base Records replied that mail was important to the soldiers and that every effort was made to deliver it as soon as possible. The officer then queried that Fred Percy was in fact her husband, for after all he had sworn that he was single. He asked for a copy of the marriage certificate. When the marriage certificate arrived the necessary alterations to the records were made. It was then pointed out that Fred Percy had sworn that he was 45, but that his marriage certificate proved that he was in fact 51 when he enlisted. Other than correction of the records no further action was taken.
On the 5th of March 1916 Temporary Sergeant Percy was promoted to Acting Company Quarter Master Sergeant. Tree No. 37, an elm, was planted in the Ballarat Avenue of Honour, by Miss Emmy Shaw, a 'Lucas Girl', on 4th June 1917