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Brian Colden Antill Pockley

Commemorated at
Given name
Brian Colden Antill
Family name
Additional information
Rank (legacy)
Unit at embarkation
1st Naval Expeditionary Force
Service (legacy)
Aus ARMY Medical Corps
World War 1
Campaign (legacy)
Kaba Kaul
KIA 11/9/1914
Decorations (legacy)
Veteran Notes/Bio

Brian Colden Angill Pockey was born on 4th June 1890, son of Dr. Francis Antill Pockley and Helen Clare Pockley (nee Hooke) of Greystanes, Bums Road, Wahroonga.
His early education was at Sydney Church of England Grammar School Shore and University of Sydney in the Faculty of Medicine. He was a resident of St. Paul’s College and graduated in Medicine.
Pockley was a member of the Sydney University Scouts and with a number of members of this unit, enlisted in the 1st Military and Naval Expeditionary Force on 4th August, 1914. The Force had been assembled rapidly with the intention of putting German Pacific wireless stations out of action.
He landed with a Naval Reserve party at Kaba Kaul on 11th September and having attended to a wounded sailor, Able Seaman Williams, he was called to attend to a wounded German, Sergeant Major Mauderer. He took off his Red Cross brassard to protect the escort of the wounded sailor and, despite warnings, went forward to aid the wounded German. He was fired on and became the first Australian officer to fall in the Great War.
He was buried in the Rabal (Bita Pika) War Cemetery P.NB.G. (Grave Aa.A.1). The Commonwealth War Graves Commission notes that New Britain was formerly a German possession, and Rabaul was the scene of the first fighting by Australian troops in the 19141918 War, when they seized the German wireless station on the site of which now stands the War Cemetery. The area is subject to earthquakes and instead of the traditional Commission headstones each grave is marked by a bronze plaque on a low concrete pedestal.
His name is recorded on the Honour Roll St. Andrews Anglican Church Wahroonga where there is also a plaque honouring Brian Pockley and his brother.
In the records of the Wahroonga Progress Association there is mention of proposals to erect a monument honouring Brian Pockley at the entranced to the family home, although nothing appears to have been done.
Brian Pockley was the first Australian casualty of World War 1 and the first medical officer to be killed in the war. His Plaque reads "Heavens morning breaks and earth's vain shadows flee".
The Plaque in memory of his brother, Lieutenant John Graham Antill Pockley; who died in France, continues "And with the mom those angel faces smile, which I have loved today since and lost awhile".

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