Edward Percy Prendergast

August 4, 2015

PRENDERGAST, Edward Percy- – – SPC 1908

DoB:- – 20 August, 1893, Newlyn, VIC

Father:- – Thomas Prendergast

Mother:- – Catherine, nee Rush

Edward Prendergast was a boarder at St Patrick’s College. He participated in the junior rowing and was one of the Junior Pair which came second in the College regatta of 1908.

Service No:- 3863

Rank:- – Lieutenant

Unit:- – 46th Battalion, later 12th Battalion

Edward Prendergast enlisted in the AIF on 4 August 1915. He was 22 years old, a single man, whose occupation was law clerk. He was noted as being five feet ten and a quarter inches tall, with a fresh complexion, brown eyes and dark brown hair. He embarked from Melbourne aboard the Ceramic on 23 November 1915.

After disembarking in Egypt, Private Prendergast was attached to the 46th Battalion in March 1916. He proceeded to France and was promoted to the rank of Corporal. By 25 March, he was taken on strength by the 12th Brigade, and two months later was promoted to the rank of Staff Sergeant. Towards the end of 1916, he was hospitalised for 38 days, and was treated for venereal disease, rejoining his unit on 19 January 1917.

Staff Sergeant Prendergast was awarded the honour of being Mentioned in Despatches in April 1917 -“

– -‘-¦ For continuous good work and steadfast devotion to duty; this NCO has served continuously since the formation of the Brigade in March 1916 in EGYPT and in FRANCE at FLEURBAIX, POZIERES, DIFPENDAAL and GUEUDECOURT.

His work has been exceptional; his cheerful example and untiring energy has proved a great stimulus to all who came in contact with him.

Recommended by Brigadier General J C ROBERTSON, CMG, Commanding 12th Aust. Inf. Brigade.

Signed William HOLMES, Major General, Commanding 4th Aust. Division.’

After undergoing training in England at the Officers’ Cadet Battalion during 1917, Prendergast had returned to France by September. On 1 January 1918, he was recommended for, and received the Meritorious Service Medal -“

-‘-¦ For continuous conspicuous good work and untiring energy during the period 28th February to 20th September 1917.

Staff Sergeant PRENDERGAST has been untiring in his efforts both during active operations and when in the Training Areas.

His work and untiring energy especially during the operations at BULLECOURT in April 1917 and MESSINES in June 1917, during which period he was subjected to a heavy strain which was exceptional and I would strongly recommend him for a reward.

Signed E G SINCLAIRE MACLAGAN, Major-General, Commanding 4th Australian Division.’

One month later, Prendergast was posted to the Machine Gun Corps Reinforcements, and in May 1918, was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant.

He was severely wounded in action at Rouen, sustaining gunshot wounds to his left chest wall, left forearm and his face. The injuries occurred on 19 September, and by 26 September 1918 he had been invalided back to England for treatment and convalescence.

On Christmas Day, Lieutenant Edward Prendergast embarked on the Takada for his return to Australia, after being assessed as medically unfit for further active service. He reached Melbourne on 11 February 1919, and was discharged on 28 March.

Settling back into civilian life, Edward resumed his legal career. He worked as a solicitor in his firm of E P Prendergast & O’Sullivan, at 118 Queen Street, Melbourne until around 1963. Edward married and had four children; two daughters, Patricia and Mary Ellen, and two sons, Michael John who died when only nine months old, and Michael Joseph who was tragically killed in a car accident when he was only 21. The family lived for many decades at 96 Como Parade, Mentone.

Edward Percy Prendergast died on 13 May 1967 at the age of 73. He was buried at the Cheltenham Pioneer Cemetery. His wife Mary survived him, and after her death in 1973, she was buried with Edward.