Distinguished Members - past and present

Colonel Percy Phipps Abbot MP

Colonel Percy Phipps Abbott

Noel Park

                                               Colonel Percy Phipps Abbot (1869 – 1940)

Personal Details

Born 14th May 1869 at Hobart, Tasmania.
Died 9th September 1940. at Tamworth, New South Wales

On 2nd September 1901 he married Elizabeth Matilda Ross, née King, a great-grand-daughter of Governor Philip Gidley King, at St Paul’s Church of England, West Tamworth and together they had three sons and a daughter.

Military Service

In 1898, Abbott joined the 4th Infantry Regiment as a Second Lieutenant, moving, by 1905, to the 6th Australian Light Horse.

From 1905 to 1912 he served as Captain (1908) and Major (1909) in the Hunter River Lancers, then returning to the New England 5th Light Horse, of which he was made C.O. in 1913.
In March 1915 he sailed for Egypt as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Australian Imperial Force He fiecely opposed the British strategy at Gallipoli, however he was soon made commander of the 10th Light Horse.
In October 1915 Abbott was evacuated to England with enteric fever, where he continued to command the Australian staging camps.

While he strongly supported conscription, he was appointed a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George in June 1917 and was selected as commander of the 63rd Battalion, which was disbanded before it could serve.

He distinguished himself in France with the 30th Battalion, and by the year's end was again commander of the 12th Light Horse Regiment. He was forced to return to Australia in April 1918 suffering recurrences of enteric fever, as well as a chronic eye complaint and the effects of gas, but continued to command the 12th (or, as it became, New England Light Horse) until 1929. He was awarded the Colonial Auxiliary Forces Officers' Decoration in 1919. Refer: Wikipedia

Community Activity -

He had not been in Tamworth long when he became a committeeman of the R.S.S.I.L.A. (Returned Sailors' and Soldiers' Imperial League of Australia (now the Returned & Services League of Australia)) and soon after his election as president, commenced "the most successful term in the sub-branch’s history" (see Reveille October 1st, 1940).

He was a former Mayor of Glen Innes and President of the Hospital Committee.
















Parliamentary Service

Elected to the House of Representatives as the Liberal Member for New England in 1913.
He was absent from the House between May 1915 and June 1918 while on war service overseas.
Abbott returned to Australia in June 1918. His AIF appointment was terminated, and he entered the House of Representatives once more
He did not contest the December 1919 federal election.
Later in 1922, Abbott led the Country Party team for New South Wales for the Senate election, but failed to gain a seat.
At the November 1925 general election, the Country Party and the Nationalists exchanged preferences, and Abbott, elected in fifth place, was chosen under the Senate Elections Act 1922 to fill a long casual vacancy.
During his time in the Senate, he had maintained his involvement with the New State Movement, which he promoted also in his capacity as a member of the royal commission on the Australian Constitution (1927–29). refer Biographical Dictionary of the Australian Senate

Qualifications, occupations and interests

He was educated at The Hutchins School and later at Sydney University, commencing his law practice at Glen Innes in 1894. Brilliant in court, he became one of the most successful solicitors in the north, and figured in many important cases.

Although his career encompassed the law, politics and the army, it appeared to some that his parliamentary service was merely an interruption in his long involvement with the military.

At his funeral service in West Tamworth, sixty diggers formed a guard of honour. In its obituary, Reveille referred to the way in which his ‘guts’ and ‘good heart’ appealed to the troops: ‘They forgave him for having been a Senator and Member of the House of Representatives, and even for having been a colonel, and took him as a man in whom they found qualities that endeared him to Digger and civilian alike’.



























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