About Percy Rodriguez
Percy was the eldest son of Francis (Filomeno) and Maud Rodriguez, and is believed to have been the first white child born in Broome in January 1892. Percy schooled in Broome, and then at Christian Brothers Aqinas College in Perth and Xavier College in Victoria, where he was studying to be a dentist. He was a talented footballer and played over 20 games in the Victorian Football League for University & Melbourne before he enlisted for the war effort.
Percy’s family were among the first pearlers to arrive in Broome. His father Frances came over from the Torres Strait pearling fishery when the pearl beds were fished out. Frances built the Weld Club Hotel, and the Continetal Hotel. He was a member of the Broome Roads Board and had numerous other interests in Broome, as well as having one of the region’s largest pearling operations.
Percy underwent basic training at Broadmeadows Military Camp near Melbourne before embarking on the RMS Malwa in March 1916. He arrived in France via England in September 1916. Percy joined his unit, which was then stationed at the Somme on 23rd September 1916. Percy was promoted to Second Lieutenant from Sergeant on 3rd February 1917, but only held this position for 45 days, as he was killed on the outskirts of Noreuil in March 1917.
Other Online Resources
View Percy Rodriguez at the National Archives of Australia
View Percy Rodriguez at the Australian War Memorial
View Percy Rodriguez at the The Soldiers of Barrack Street
View Percy Rodriguez at The First World War Poetry Digital Archive