Biography

Birth date: 09 August 1887
Birth place: Australia: Victoria, Barkers Creek
Death date: 23 May 1968
Death place: Australia: Victoria, Caulfield South
Final rank: Warrant Officer Class 2
Service number: 114 - First World War, 1914-1918
VX8345 - Second World War, 1939-1945
Units:
  • 3 Pioneer Battalion
  • 3rd Australian Pioneer Battalion
  • 2/2nd Pioneer Battalion

Walter Peeler was born near Castlemaine, Victoria. He enlisted in February 1916 in time to join the 3rd Pioneer Battalion. He was slightly wounded during the battle of Messines in June 1917.

On 4 October 1917 Peeler was one of several Lewis gunners attached to the 37th Battalion for the attack on Broodseinde Ridge. In the forefront, he led attacks against a series of enemy posts, eventually accounting for over 30 of the enemy. A few days later Peeler was wounded and while recuperating received the Victoria Cross from the King.

During the Second World War, Peeler understated his age and enlisted in the 2/2nd Pioneer Battalion. After serving in Syria, he was captured with his unit in Java during 1942 and spent three and a half years as a prisoner of the Japanese. He was a Custodian of Victoria's Shrine of Remembrance between 1934 and 1940 and from 1945 until 1964. He was awarded the British Empire Medal in 1961.

Peeler was awarded the Victoria Cross, British Empire Medal, service medals for the First and Second World Wars, and coronation medals for King George VI and Queen Elizabeth II.

Rolls and Awards

First World War Embarkation Roll

  • Rank: Private
  • Date of embarkation: 06 June 1916
  • Place of embarkation: Melbourne

Second World War POWs and Missing Persons

  • Rank: Warrant Officer Class 2
  • Unit: 2/2nd Pioneer Battalion
  • Theatre of war: Java

Honours and Awards (Recommendation)

  • Unit: 3rd Australian Pioneer Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards : Victoria Cross

  • Unit: 3rd Australian Pioneer Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Photograph

044844

VICTORIA CROSS WINNERS FROM THE BOER WAR AND WORLD WAR 1 WHO GATHERED TO MARCH IN THE SYDNEY ANZAC DAY PARADE. BACK ROW LEFT TO RIGHT: LIEUTENANT (LIEUT.) J. ROGERS, SERGEANT (SGT) R. R. INWOOD, BRIGADIER A. S. BLACKBURN, SGT J. W. WHITTLE, SGT S. R. MCDOUGALL, MAJOR E. T. TOWNER, CAPTAIN (CAPT) A....

044844

044957

Sydney, NSW. 1938-04-23. A group portrait of Victoria Cross recipients who were invited to Sydney by the United Licensed Victuallers Association (ULVA) to march as a group in the 1938 Sydney Anzac Day march. This gesture by the ULVA was part of the Australian sesquicentennial (150 years)...

044957

072966

Port Melbourne, Vic. 1918. Australian Victoria Cross winners from World War 1 invited by the Prime Minister of Australia, The Honourable W. M. Hughes, to return home to assist in a recruiting campaign. The photograph was taken as the ship HMAT Medic was berthing. The identified men are, from the...

072966

117837

Members of 2/2nd Pioneer Battalion, ex-POWs of the Japanese, on the deck of British troopship MV Highland Brigade during their journey home to Australia. Identified, left to right: VX30705 Lieutenant (Lt) Clarence James Mitchell; VX15400 Lt Jack Hughes Walters; Staff Sergeant H Black; VX22079 LT...

117837

117940

Phetburi, Thailand. 23 September 1945. Warrant Officer Class 2 Walter Peeler, 2/2nd Pioneer Battalion gives eyes right as he leads his Company of ex-prisoners of war (POWs) of the Japanese past the saluting base where Major C. E. Green, Commanding Officer, 2/4th Machine Gun Battalion, takes the...

117940

D00016

Informal portrait of 114 Sergeant Walter Peeler VC, 3rd Pioneer Battalion who was awarded his Victoria Cross as a Lance Corporal, 4 October 1917, during the fight for Broodseinde Ridge, east of Ypres, Belgium.

D00016

D00016A

Portrait of 114 Sergeant Walter Peeler VC, 3rd Pioneer Battalion who was awarded his Victoria Cross as a Lance Corporal, 4 October 1917, during the fight for Broodseinde Ridge, east of Ypres, Belgium.

D00016A

H06198

PORTRAIT OF 5368 LANCE CORPORAL GEORGE ANDREW MILLIKEN, MM, 18TH BATTALION.

H06198

H06199

PORTRAIT OF 114 SERGEANT WALTER PEELER VC, 3RD PIONEER BATTALION

H06199

H00175

A montage of nine portrait photographs taken at Westham camp. In the centre is a group portrait of fifteen Australian soldiers and is surrounded by individual portraits of eight of the men who are in the group portrait all of whom had been awarded the Victoria Cross (VC). The central group...

H00175

J03076

MELBOURNE, AUS. 1927-04-25. AUSTRALIAN VICTORIA CROSS (VC) WINNERS WHO TOOK PART IN THE 1927 ANZAC DAY MARCH. IN THE BACKGROUND ARE THE KING'S AND REGIMENTAL COLOURS OF THE A.M.F. BATTALIONS AND REGIMENTS. LEFT TO RIGHT:- CORPORAL (CPL) B.S. GORDON MM, CPL T.L. AXFORD MM, CPL J. CARROLL, SERGEANT...

J03076

P01383.005

A portrait of Corporal Walter Peeler VC. This photograph is a portion of P01383.017, a framed composite photograph (photo-montage) presented to Lieutenant John Hamilton VC by Dr Mannix on the occasion of the Saint Patrick's Day celebrations in Melbourne, 17 March 1920. The composite photograph...

P01383.005

P01383.017

A framed composite photograph presented to Lieutenant John Hamilton VC by His Grace the Archbishop of Melbourne and the Irish citizens of Victoria, on the occasion of the Saint Patrick's Day celebrations in Melbourne, 17 March 1920. The composite photograph comprises portraits of fourteen Victoria...

P01383.017

P01383.018

This is a restored version of P01383.017. The original is is a framed composite photograph presented to Lieutenant John Hamilton VC by his Grace the Archbishop of Melbourne and the Irish citizens of Victoria on the occasion of the Saint Patrick's Day celebrations in Melbourne, 17 March 1920. The...

P01383.018

117835

AT SEA. 1945-10-10. WARRANT OFFICER W. PEELER VC (BROODSEINDE, FRANCE. WORLD WAR 1 - 1917.) 2/2ND PIONEER BATTALION, AN EX-POW OF THE JAPANESE, PLAYING WITH LITTLE FERNE POPE, THREE YRS OLD, (WHO HAS BEEN IN JAPANESE HANDS SINCE SHE WAS SIX WEEKS OLD) ON THE DECK OF THE BRITISH TROOPSHIP MV...

117835

117836

AT SEA. 1945-10-10. WARRANT OFFICER W. PEELER VC (BROODSEINDE, FRANCE. WORLD WAR 1 - 1917.) 2/2ND PIONEER BATTALION, AN EX-POW OF THE JAPANESE, PLAYING WITH LITTLE FERNE POPE, THREE YRS OLD, (WHO HAS BEEN IN JAPANESE HANDS SINCE SHE WAS SIX WEEKS OLD) ON THE DECK OF THE BRITISH TROOPSHIP MV...

117836

A05537

MELBOURNE, 1927-11. A FORMAL GROUP PHOTOGRAPH TAKEN AT THE VICTORIA CROSS REUNION DINNER. LEFT TO RIGHT: STANDING: MR W.D. JOYNT VC, SQUADRON LEADER F.H. MCNAMARA VC RAAF, MR J. ROGERS VC, LIEUTENANT G.M. INGRAM VC, MR W. PEELER VC, MR L.D. MCCARTHY VC, CROIX DE GUERRE, MR R.V. MOON VC; FRONT ROW:...

A05537

P00398.001

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA, 1918-10. ABOARD THE TROOP TRANSPORT 'MEDIC' TEN VICTORIA CROSS WINNERS OF THE FIRST AUSTRALIAN IMPERIAL FORCE WHO WERE INVITED BY THE PRIME MINISTER OF AUSTRALIA, W.M. HUGHES, TO RETURN TO AUSTRALIA TO ASSIST IN A RECRUITING CAMPAIGN. BACK ROW, LEFT TO RIGHT: SGT. W. PEELER,...

P00398.001

Film

8 Division POW on board HMT Highland Brigade

Scenes taken on board HMT Highland Brigade of men of 8 Division and civilians who had been prisoners of the Japanese for some three and a half years, during the trip from Singapore to Fremantle, WA. The majority of these troops worked on the Burma Railway. Warrant Officer Peeler VC (First World...

F07340

Private Record

Crooke, Cyril Ednott (Lieutenant, b.1892 - d.1965)

Collection relating to the First World War service of Lieutenant Cyril Ednott Crooke, Australian Flying Corps (AFC). Collection consists of a leather bound sketch book featuring detailed water colour paintings produced between 4 March 1918 and 24 September 1918. It depicts aeroplanes, troopships,... Maker: Crooke, Cyril Ednott

3DRL/2497 (With records)

Digitised Collection

Sketch book of Cyril Ednott Crooke, 1918

Sketch book relating to the First World War service of Lieutenant Cyril Ednott Crooke, Australian Flying Corps. The bound leather drawing book features detailed water colour paintings produced between 4 March 1918 and 24 September 1918. It depicts aeroplanes, troopships, Leeds Castle, Australian...

RCDIG0000352

Timeline

Date of birth 1887-08-09
Date of embarkation 1916-06-06
Date of death 1968-05-23