BICE, Luke

Born in 1875 in the Shoalhaven district of NSW, Luke Bice was educated at a private school. He joined the NSW Department of Lands and by 1896 had been posted to their Moree office. In 1900 he obtained 12 months leave to serve with the NSW Imperial Bushmen at the Boer War.

After returning to Australia, he resigned from the Lands Department and moved to Inverell where he became an Auctioneer. He maintained his Military interests with the 5th Light Horse Mounted Rifles; was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant in 1904 and 1st Lieutenant two years later. At Inverell Bice assisted with the military training of cadets.

With the outbreak of WWI he applied for a commission and joined the 7th Light Horse Regiment, sailing for Egypt just before Christmas 1914. He served 38 weeks at Gallipoli. Luke was recommended for field honours and promoted to temporary Captain. After the evacuation of Gallipoli his unit was posted to Maadi, Egypt to defend the Suez Canal.

Promoted to Major in 1916, he was among those who fought the Battle of Romani, the first British Empire victory against the Ottoman Empire. Ill health caused his early return to Australia.

During WWII Luke Bice enlisted yet again and was appointed Inverell Area Officer, thus giving service through three Wars.  He died at Inverell in 1959. Before the War he played cricket for the Austral Club at Inverell and in 1913 won trophies for batting and bowling.

Major Bice is among those whose names are inscribed on the Inverell Honor Roll and The Inverell Club Honour Roll.

Photograph courtesy Glen Innes History House