Their bodies are buried in peace; but their names liveth for evermore.
Their Duty Done
A tribute to the men and women of the East Gippsland Region who Died as a result of their participation in World War One : 1914 -1919
4638 Lance Corporal Percival Reginald Whelan - Swan Reach / Buchan Died of illness 3 January 1917
Percival, who was known as Reg, was born in Essendon the tenth child of sixteen born to Michael and Elizabeth Whelan. None of the children were born here but many of them were to make East Gippsland their home. By 1903 Reg and his younger brother Herbert were farming at Murrindal and in 1906 he married Margaret Fuller. The newly married couple moved to Swan Reach by 1909 where he was a storekeeper later returning to farming at Swan Reach. On 3 February 1915, Macarthur and Co. held a sale on their property before they left the area and Reg started work for the Postal Department in Malvern. Reg was 40 years old when he enlisted on 14 August 1916 with the 12/29 th  Battalion and sailed from Melbourne on the Medic on 16 December 1916. In the next fortnight, while still at sea, he developed pneumonia and died on 3 January 1917 and was buried at sea the same day. When Major Johnston informed the Secretary of Defence of his death and burial he also informed officials that amongst his belongings was fourteen shillings and sixpence in cash which would be handed to the Australian Pay Corps representatives on arrival in England. Percival Reginald Whelan is remembered on the Hollybrook Memorial in Southampton, England and on the Swan Reach and Buchan honour rolls. In 1919, his widow Margaret married John Wilkinson. As mentioned earlier, many of his siblings settled in East Gippsland and six of his nephews: Michael, Herbert, Charles, John, Albert and David Whelan and George Ross all served in the war with Charles and John both being killed in action.   We have been unable to locate a photograph of Lance Corporal Percival Reginald Whelan, if you know of one, please make contact. Our group would appreciate your assistance.
….. while still at sea, he developed pneumonia