Herbert, known as Percy, was the fourth son of Henry and Annie Blake. His birth was registered at Coonamble NSW in 1887. He was educated at Bowenfels School. The family moved to the Inverell district about 1910 when they purchased the property ‘Strathaird’ at Delungra.
Herbert was a Shearing machine expert when, at the age of twenty eight, he enlisted in July 1915 at Liverpool NSW. He joined the 17th Battalion, 4th Reinforcement which left Australia on the troopship HMAT A8 Argyllshire in September and arrived in Egypt two months later.
Herbert went to France in March 1916. Later that year he was invalided to England and admitted to hospital for treatment for trench foot disease. He spent two months in hospital and did not return to France until April 1917. During the Battle of Passchendale he was wounded and sent to the 2nd Australian General Hospital in France where he died of wounds on 29 October 1917. He was buried at Wimereux Communal Cemetery, France. His personal possessions were returned to his Father and included letters, notebook, metal watch, knife and spoon in a leather case and a fountain pen.
Herbert’s name is recorded on the Delungra Roll of Honor and on the new memorial gate at Anzac Park, Delungra.
His younger brother, Lieutenant Guy Blake served with the English 6th Buffs Regiment and was wounded in France. After the War he returned to Australia.
Image: Courtesy IDFHG