George Harris

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George Harris
Personal Information
Date of Birth c 1881
Place of Birth Burham, Buckinghamshire, England
Age at Enlistment 34 years, 7 months
Description 5'9½" (1.m) tall ; 162lbs
73.482 kg
; fresh complexion ; blue eyes ; dark brown hair
Occupation Tram Motorman
Religion Church of England
Address Walverdene, Cecil street, Cannington, Western Australia
Next of Kin Wife , Mrs Eliza Harris
Military Information
Reg Number 5367
Date of Enlistment 3 Jan 1916
Rank Lance Corporal
Unit/Formation 16th Battalion, 17th Reinforcement
Date of Embarkation 17 Apr 1916 ‒ 14 May 1916
Ship Embarked On HMAT A60 Aeneas
Date of Return 6 May 1919 ‒ 15 Jun 1919
Ship Returned On HMAT A63 Karoola
Fate Wounded in action 5 Feb 1917 Flers
Wounded in action 5 Aug 1917 Neuve Eglise sector
Wounded in action 5 Apr 1918 Hebuterne
Returned to Australia
Monument Victoria Park Memorial
Medals British War Medal
Victory Medal

Pre War

War Service

Initially identified as an Australian Army Service Corps reinforcement on 12 Jan 1916, he was reallocated to the 16th Battalion's 17th reinforcement draft on 1 Apr 1916, travelling with them to Egypt aboard HMAT A60 Aeneas which departed Fremantle on 17 Apr 1916 and arrived on 14 May 1916. In Egypt on 17 May 1916 George was admitted to the 2nd Australian Stationary Hospital who passed him the next day to the 3rd Australian General Hospital, before being transferred to the Convalescent Hospital on 25 May 1916. On 15 Jun 1916 he returned to duty, but two days later was readmitted to the 2nd Australian Stationary Hospital at Tel-el-Kebir with pyrexia. On 26 Jun 1916 he was transferred to the 3rd Australian General Hospital at Abbassia with gastritis, before being discharged to the Convalescent Hospital at Ras-el-Tire on 2 Jul 1916. On 12 Jul 1916 he was fit enough to return to duty with the 4th Training Battalion.

George boarded HMT Megantic in Alexandria for England on 6 Aug 1916 and on arrival rejoined the 4th Training Battalion. On 1 Sep 1916 he was admitted to the Fargo Military Hospital with influenza, and was discharged to duty on 8 Sep 1916. On 22 Sep 1916 George proceeded overseas to France, and on 4 Oct 1916 he was taken on strength by the 16th Battalion. From 2 Jan 1917 until 13 Jan 1917 he was hospitalised in France before rejoining his battalion.

On 5 Feb 1917 the battalion was holding the front line in the Flers sector when George was wounded in action for the first time, being admitted to the 45th Casualty Clearing Station the next day, and then the 13th General Hospital in Boulogne on 7 Feb 1917. Later the same day he was evacuated to England aboard the HS Jan Breydel where on 8 Feb 1917 he was admitted to the Norfolk War Hospital with a shell wound to the head. On 13 Mar 1917 he was released to the 1st Australian Auxiliary Hospital at Harefield where he was granted furlough before moving to the No. 2 Command Depot at Weymouth on 12 Apr 1917 to rebuild his strength. While in Weymouth he was absent from the Tattoo Roll Call on 31 May 1917 until reveille on 1 Jun 1917. Awarded 4 days confined to barracks, with extra duties, he forfeited 1 day's pay. George proceeded overseas to France again on 5 Jul 1917 through Folkestone and on 27 Jul 1917 he had rejoined his battalion.

On 5 Aug 1917 George was wounded a second time, remaining on duty as the wound was slight. The battalion at the time were in the front line, receiving fairly heavy casualties due to heavy German shelling of their positions. George was appointed Lance Corporal on 26 Nov 1917, and from 20 Jan 1918 to 12 Feb 1918 he was detached to the Australian Bombing School.

On 5 Apr 1918, the 16th Battalion was in the front line at Hebuterne tasked with halting the German advance. From 6:00am the enemy subjected them to very heavy shelling using both High Explosive and Gas shells. At 9:30 the barrage lifted and the Germans numbering 2,000 or more attacked in waves. A total of three attacks were attempted, with very heavy German casualties. The 16th Battalion lost nine killed and 28 wounded, Charles amongst the wounded. Wounded a third time, this time his injuries were to the thigh area of both legs. He was admitted to the 49th Field Ambulance on the same day, before being placed on an Ambulance Train for the 35th General Hospital in Calais, where he was admitted on 6 Apr 1918. On 10 Apr 1918 he was evacuated to England aboard the HS Stad Antwerpen, and entered the War Hospital, Warren road, Guildford, where his fractured left Tibia led to a mid thigh amputation in May of 1918. His right thigh was also slow healing. On 17 Sep 1918 he was transferred to the 2nd Australian Auxiliary Hospital at Southall where he was granted furlough from 24 Apr 1919 until 3 May 1919. Three days later he began his voyage to Australia aboard a hospital ship. On return to Australia George continued to receive treatment from the 8th Australian General Hospital at Fremantle until his discharge on 30 May 1921.

Post War


George is not listed on the Canning Roll, but there is no Cecil street in adjacent suburbs other than Canning.

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