A mother's loss

Posted on 10 November 2021

Mary Reiddie Peterson saw four of her sons off to war. Only one came home.

Corporal James Peterson was killed in action at Bullecourt on 3 May 1917 while serving with the 22nd Battalion.

His younger brother, Trooper Leslie Peterson of the 13th Light Horse Regiment, was killed in action near Ypres a few months later on 27 September 1917.

The youngest, Private Thomas Peterson, was wounded in action while serving with the 50th Battalion at Dernancourt on 5 April 1918, and died of his wounds the same day.

The last of her four sons, the eldest, Corporal Archibald Peterson, of the 27th Battalion, was recalled to Australia for “family reasons” in September 1918.

A widow from Minlaton in South Australia, Mary also lost a brother, Private Archibald Litster of the 5th Machine Gun Battalion, who died of wounds in Rouen on 23 April 1918.