Perfect soldiers WW1

Eight PERFECT soldiers, great-grandsons of Margaret 'Peggy' Reid and Jonathan Goldspink, enlisted during the First World War. Peggy Reid was a descendant of the Burramattagal (Parramatta) Clan. Three of her grandsons were born in Rockhampton, to Alfred Perfect and Alice Cook - Joseph, William and Arthur, all volunteered to serve with the First AIF.

Joseph PERFECT #200 25th Infantry Battalion, Machine Gun Section

Joseph PERFECT, was the first of three Perfect brothers from Rockhampton to volunteer to serve for his country. Joe trained at Alderley camp, just outside Brisbane, before embarking for overseas in June 1915, arriving in Egypt when troops were still serving at Gallipoli, he landed on the Peninsula in early September.

Joe was soon appointed Lance Corporal in October but was wounded just a few weeks later and was taken by hospital ship to St Elmos Hospital on the island of Malta with bomb wounds to both legs and his left arm.

Joe spent Christmas 1915 recovering from his wounds before being transferred to Cairo where he awaited a hospital transport ship to take him back to Australia. Joe was already estranged from his wife Myra Cowell in 1914, they were granted a divorce in 1920. He returned to his work with Queensland Railways later becoming a first-class engine driver.

Service record: PERFECT, Joseph
Embarkation roll: 7th Reinf. 25th Battalion
Image: The Queenslander Pictorial, 10 April 1915
Recruiting campaign. The Capricornian, 22 September 1917, p6

William Alfred PERFECT #3429 Light Horse Depot Regiment

William PERFECT, volunteered on Anzac Day, 1917. Although married, he too was estranged from his wife, Irene Cowell sister of his brother Joe's wife Myra, and was at the time also employed with the Queensland Railways, as a coalman.

When William arrived in Brisbane he was assigned to the 29th Reinforcements for the 2nd Light Horse Regiment but his life in camp was not an easy one. William was charged on three occasions with being AWOL including whilst recuperating from a hernia operation. After the operation William developed complications, which resulted in a recommendation for medical discharge.

Service Record: PERFECT, William Alfred
Image: The Queenslander Pictorial, 14 July 1917

Arthur PERFECT #7757 15th Infantry Battalion

Arthur PERFECT the youngest of the three brothers stepped forward on the 5th May 1917 age 19. He left Sydney aboard HMAT Euripides arriving in England just in time for Xmas, where they spent the English winter in camp before sailing for France in April 1918.

Arthur was transferred to the 15th Infantry Battalion and joined them at Villers-Bretonneux. In June 1918 he was admitted to hospital with trench fever, which was spread by lice which inhabited the soldiers uniforms.  Not long after returning to his battalion, he was wounded in action and suffered a severe gun shot wound to his right thigh and back. Arthur did not return to the front line, after spending many weeks recovering from his wounds in England, he was returned to Australia in February 1919.

In 1927 Arthur Perfect married Monica 'Mona' Sallows, they had three children, Arthur Niles, Brian Richard and Doreen. Arthur like his older brothers returned to work with Queensland Railways, later attaining the position of fireman and finally as an engine driver, he died in 1979.

Service record: PERFECT, Arthur
Embarkation roll: 26th Reinf. 9th Battalion
Image: The Queenslander Pictorial, 4 August 1917
Letter, Mrs Wheeler. The Morning Bulletin, April 1918

Many thanks once again go to Philippa Scarlett and Christine Cramer for their assistance.

Further reading ...

  • Queensland’s Indigenous Servicemen [oral history, 12min]
  • Kohen, James L. The Darug and their neighbours : the traditional Aboriginal owners of the Sydney region. Darug Link in association with the Blacktown and District Historical Society, 1993 
  • Kohen, James L. Daruganora: Darug country - the place and the people. Rev. edition, part 2. Darug Genealogy, Darug Tribal Aboriginal Corporation, 2009

The information in this blog post has been researched by State Library staff and volunteers, it is based on available information at this time. If you have more information that you would like to share or further research uncovers new findings, this post will be updated.


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Arthur perfect is my Great grand father and I served in the forces as well can I get in touch with someone

Hi Giles, great to hear you've found some family history in this post. If you're hoping to discover more about the Perfects or any other family/military history our librarians would be happy to help. feel free to use our Ask a Librarian service by phone on 07 3840 7810 or use any of the other reference services listed here:

-Tom , Queensland Memory