ID numberRELAWM01107.001
Collection typeTechnology
TitleWebley Mark V Revolver : Sergeant P C Statton, 40 Battalion, AIF
Object typeFirearm
Place madeUnited Kingdom
Date made1915
Physical description
  • Bone
  • Steel
DescriptionWebley Mark V double action, six shot revolver. Frame stamped WEBLEY MARK V PATENTS 1915. The grips are black checkered bone with the right side bottom broken. The back strap is stamped 2.16 and it has a lanyard ring at the butt.
SummaryThis service revolver was carried by Sergeant Percy Clyde Statton of 40th Battalion, AIF in the action for which he was awarded the Victoria Cross. Statton was born in Beaconsfield Tasmania on 19 October 1890. He was a farmer at Tyenna prior to the outbreak of the First World War. On 12 September 1907 he married Elsie May Pearce.

Statton enlisted in the AIF on 1 March 1916 and was posted to 40 Battalion, as private 506. He was promoted to lance corporal on 22 May. The battalion embarked at Hobart on 1 July 1916, arriving in England on 22 August. Statton was promoted to corporal on 19 November and moved to France four days later. The following month he was promoted to acting sergeant, the rank being confirmed on 23 April 1917. For his actions while supervising a carrying unit during the Battle of Messines in June he was awarded the Military Medal.

Statton suffered a gunshot wound to the right shoulder in fighting on 12 October and was evacuated to England, rejoining his unit in May 1918. On 10 June he was gassed in fighting near Villers-Bretonneux and taken to a casualty clearing station, returning to his unit on the 24th.

Following the success of the Battle of Amiens, 10 Brigade, which included 40 Bn, were ordered to 'capture the spur on the west of CHUIGNOLLES between the main Amiens - St. Quentin Road and River Somme. On the evening of 10 August the Brigade moved out toward their objective. East of the village of La Flaque they was spotted by the Germans and enemy planes began bombing and machine gunning the column. The troops sought shelter on the side of the road but quickly resumed their march.

Enemy ground fire and airborne bombing intensified as the Brigade neared Proyart, halting the advance. Soon after midnight on the 11th, 37 and 39 Bns were withdrawn to reserve positions. Meanwhile 38 and 40 Bns were ordered to dig in and occupy a line starting east of La Flaque extending to the Proyart-Harbonnieres railway.

The following morning orders were received for the whole line to advance. The objectives of 40 Bn in the advance were the southern portion of Proyart and the valley south of the Proyart - Chuignes road. 37 Bn, on 40 Bn's left flank, was to sweep through the village of Proyart and to dig in on a spur on the east side of the town. The attack began at 7.15 am on 12 August.

Later that evening, near Proyart, while 37 Bn was battling heavy fire from German machine guns, Statton was organising two Lewis guns to provide covering fire for members of his own unit. Seeing their plight, he attempted to cover the advance of a 37 Bn unit only to see them fall before they could reach the first gun. Taking three men, and armed only with his service revolver, Statton moved across open ground toward the enemy machine gun position.

Statton's party quickly accounted for the first gun before proceeding to the second where Statton accounted for the enemy crew single handed. Seeing this, the remaining two enemy crews abandoned their guns only to be cut down by the two Lewis guns that Statton had organised earlier. He later returned, under fire, to retrieve two of his men who were casualties. For his actions during the fighting at Proyart, Statton was awarded the Victroria Cross.

He returned to Australia in November and discharged from the AIF on 18 January 1920. His marriage to Elsie ended in October the same year. Following his discharge he worked as a labourer before resuming farming at Fitzgerald.

In December 1925 he married Eliza Hudson who died in 1945. Between 1942 and 1946 he acted as a lieutenant in the Volunteer Defence Corps. He was married again in 1947, to Monica Kingston, the couple later moving to Brighton where he was elected to the council. In 1956 he and his wife attended the VC Centenary celebrations in London.

Statton died on 5 December 1959 at the Repatriation General Hospital in Hobart. He was cremated with full military honours and his ashes interred at Cornelian Bay Cemetery.
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