Private Eric Pinches

Service number 296
Birth Place Australia: Queensland, Brisbane
Death Date 1917-05-05
Death Place France
Final Rank Private
Service Australian Imperial Force
  • 2nd Australian Machine Gun Battalion
  • 2nd Australian Machine Gun Battalion
Conflict/Operation First World War, 1914-1918
Gazettes Published in London Gazette in 1917-06-18
Published in Commonwealth Gazette in 1917-10-04

Private Ernest "Ernie" Wilson Pinches (296, 5th MG Company) was a clerk from Brisbane, Queensland, who had also worked as a pupil teacher. Ernie first enlisted in January 1916 in Brisbane, but was discharged under age when the Head Teacher at the school where he had worked informed the army that Ernie was only 15 years of age. Ernie then travelled to Sydney and enlisted in April 1916 under the alias of Eric Pinches. Ernie died in a shell-hole on 5 May 1917 of wounds received during the second battle of Bullecourt and is commemorated on the Villers-Bretonneux Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux, France. He was 17 years and 3 weeks of age. Ernie was awarded a Distinguished Conduct Medal for single-handedly capturing an enemy machine gun and crew just three weeks earlier.



Date of enlistment 12 April 1916
Date of embarkation 01 May 1916
Date of recommendation honour or award 25 April 1917
Date of death 05 May 1917