PILLAR, Percival William
2504/44022, Private, Imperial Camel Brigade.
b. 1875 Goulburn, NSW.
Enlisted: Forbes, NSW.
d. 15.08.1955 Sunshine Coast, Qld.
Next of Kin: Percy Cyril Edgar Pillar (son) and Susan Bowtel of Gore Hill, North Sydney, NSW.
Percival Pillar was trained as a plumber. His early history showed that he had broken one of his legs in fall and had a plate inserted. He bore a large scar on his left shin as a result of the accident. The Sydney Evening News reported Pillar as falling between a train and the platform at Richmond Station in April 1914 with it being necessary for him to go into Sydney for treatment. Given that he had previously lost two fingers and several toes, it is surprising that he was accepted into the armed forces.
Percival Pillar married Clarice H. Leavers in Sydney in 1901, but declared himself a widower by 7th June 1916. No further record of Clarice Pillar has been found so it is possible she had died. They had four sons, two of whom died in infancy. Pillar was discharged from the army 21st June 1916 as medically unfit.
Percival reapplied for the AIF and joined in January 1917 this time embarking on the RMS Morea for Suez on 17th February 1917. His ship reached Capetown and Pillar was returned to Australia with abdominal adhesions.
He was discharged again in October 1917. He had a good record but was deemed medically unfit.
Later Pillar applied for copies of his army papers declaring he had lost his memory. It cannot be confirmed that this was the same man as the one buried in Woombye Cemetery as records give several different places of residence but the one constant is a son, Percy Cyril Edgar Pillar.
Percival Pillar was buried in the Military Section of Woombye Cemetery with no name - just a simple plinth with an Army Badge.
Sources: National Archives of Australia; The Evening News, Sydney 30 April 1914; 1954 Electoral Roll for Queensland; NSW Birth records.
From the Genealogy Sunshine Coast publication
“AND THEIR NAMES SHALL LIVE FOREVER…”
REMEMBERING MILITARY PERSONNEL IN THE OLD MAROOCHY SHIRE CEMETERIES – BOOK 1, WOOMBYE
Percival is not included in the Adopt a Digger database as he falls outside our criteria of living in the district before 1925. He is included in this gallery as he has lived in the district later in his life and is commemorated on the Sunshine Coast. Importantly, as a WW1 digger he still deserves to be recognised and commemorated by our project.