For those of you who attend the local ANZAC Day service you may remember the story of Percy Scroop. Percy enlisted in the 9th Light Horse Battalion and while in the field was taken a prisoner of war by the Turks. We have never been able to locate the gravesite or headstone for Percy however last week a Major from the Australian Embassy in Baghdad contacted us after doing a google search looking for information about Percy.
He is doing some research on Australian and New Zealand soldiers buried in the Baghdad North Gate War Cemetery and found the headstone for Percy Scroop.
The headstone inscription records:
Buried in Angora Cemetery
1601 Lance Corporal P. G. Scroop
9th Australian Light Horse
28th December 1916 Age 23
Born at Cherry Gardens South Australia
The Major also was able to provide some additional information around the capture of Percy from the court of enquiry and a witness statement.
After arriving in Egypt, he (Percy) was promoted to Lance-Corporal on the 27th of March 1916. Percy saw action against the Turks in the Canal Zone. Then, as Trooper McKay describes it, Percy was captured by the Turks on the 9th of August 1916 along with SGT Sullivan and Trooper Patten:
“They are none of them M.G’s (Machine Gunners) but were sent up with the M.G’s that day to help for some reason, and were consequently dismounted. With them was Eddie Rose. When the order to retreat came, they did not get back when the rest of the troop did, and their horses had gone back without them. I happened to be lying wounded in their path when they retired, and the Turks came over the hill and captured the four of us. They left me, as they could not carry me off, but they made the others pull their gear off and throw it in a heap where I was and then marched them away. The Turks were in a terrible hurry and seemed flurried, but they behaved most decently and handled our fellows very lightly. I crawled over to the 10th Regiment myself.”
Percy was reported missing in action on 9th August 1916. This was confirmed as missing, believed captured as a Prisoner of War (PoW) later that month. The Turks transferred him Afion-Kara-Hissar to Angola around the 2nd October 1916. Percy died on 28th December 1916 of Dysentery. He had been overseas for exactly one year