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One on the Major.
One on the Major. 
 

Western Mail, Thursday 14 December 1933, page 2

One on the Major.

Dear "Non-Com." - The 11th Battalion was at Abeta, in the desert near Serapium, and at that time Major John Peck had been impressing on the troops the nearness of the Turks. "Be ready for them at any minute," he said. ''They may come creeping on you at any time."

'That same night "Johnno" was on sentry go, and was wondering if the Turks were really as close as the major had stated. On looking nut into the darkness, he noticed an object, creeping along the ground towards him. After watching it for a short while, he gave the usual order, "Halt, who goes there?"

The object rose to its feet, and a voice .reached "Johnno": "It's all right, boy. I'm Major Peck." But Jobnno covered him with his rifle. "I don't give a damn who you are," he answered. "If you don't put your blanky hands up, I'll drill a ruddy hole in you!"

Up went the major's hands, while Johnno tried hard to awaken his relief to get him to go out and identify his man. When the major was brought in, he demanded Johnno's rifle, which was refused.

"Is it loaded?" he asked.

"My oath, it's loaded!" replied Johnno.

"And would you have shot me?" was Peck's next query.

"Too ruddy right I would," replied Jobnno.

Nest day Johnno was paraded before the whole battalion, and thought he was in for a dressing down. But great was his surprise when the major shouted his praises to the troops, stating that at least there was one man in the battalion who could be relied on to do his duty. He shook hands with Johnno there and then.

But, as Johnno remarked afterwards: "If the blighter only knew how near death he was he would be thanking his lucky stars and not me!"

"Aussie," Gabinintha, via. Nannine.

From the ADFA Site:

http://www.aif.adfa.edu.au:8080/showPerson?pid=237425

John Henry PECK

Place of birth Sydney, New South Wales Religion Church of England Occupation Soldier Address Headquarters, 5th Military District, Perth, Western Australia Marital status Married Age at embarkation 25 Next of kin Wife, Mrs Ellen Peck, Headquarters, 5th Military District, Perth, Western Australia Enlistment date 17 August 1914 Rank on enlistment LT (ADJ) Unit name 11th Battalion, Headquarters AWM Embarkation Roll number 23/28/1 Embarkation details Unit embarked from Fremantle, Western Australia, on board Transport A11 Ascanius on 2 November 1914 Rank from Nominal Roll Lieutenant-Colonel Unit from Nominal Roll 11th Battalion Recommendations (Medals and Awards)

Mention in Despatches

Awarded, and promulgated, 'London Gazette', Supplement, No. 29354 (5 November 1915); 'Commonwealth Gazette', No. 12 (27 January 1916). Recommendation date: ? May 1915

Distinguished Service Order

Recommendation date: 1 March 1917

Mention in Despatches

Awarded, and promulgated, 'London Gazette', second Supplement, No. 30107 (1 June 1917); 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 169 (4 October 1917).

Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George

Recommendation date: 20 September 1917

Mention in Despatches

Awarded, and promulgated, 'London Gazette', Second Supplement No. 30448 (28 December 1917); 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 57 (18 April 1918). Recommendation date: 20 September 1917

Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George

Recommendation date: 8 March 1918

Mention in Despatches

Awarded, and promulgated, 'London Gazette' No. 30706 (28 May 1918); 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 165 (24 October 1918).

Mention in Despatches

Awarded, and promulgated, 'London Gazette' No. 31089 (31 December 1918); 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 61 (23 May 1919).

Fate Returned to Australia 10 April 1919 Medals

Distinguished Service Order

Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 169 Date: 4 October 1917

CMG

Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 173 Date: 7 November 1918

Other details

Medals: Companion of the Order of St Michael & St George, Distinguished Service Order, 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal