Heritage Guide to The Geelong College

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CRISP, Ralph Harry (1894-1966)

CRISP, Dr Ralph Harry (1894-1966)

Ralph Harry Crisp was born 2 December 1894, the son of Henry Crisp and Eleanor nee Jarvis. He was a day student at Geelong College from 1908 to 1911 becoming a member of the 1st Cricket XI in 1911. His enrolment address was Candover St, Geelong West. In 1908 he gained the following academic prizes: 1st Arithmetic, 5th Form B; 1st, Algebra, Upper 4th Form; 1st, Latin, Middle 4th Form; 1st, French, Middle 4th Form.

He later entered Ormond College, The University of Melbourne, where he graduated MB BS, and served in The University of Melbourne Regiment.

During World War I, he enlisted in the Australian Army Medical Corps (AAMC) as a Captain on 7 May 1917, embarked on HMAT A29 Suevic on 21 June 1917, and was posted to No 11 AGH, embarking on 21 June 1917. He arrived in France on 15 October 1917 at No 1 AGH, then 13th Field Ambulance on 24 October, and was posted to 49 Battalion on 1 January 1918.

The Australian War Memorial (AWM) collection holds his 'medical officers’ training notes of 1917, with notebooks containing duty lists, and names of men permanently incapacitated, as well as orders regarding disinfection of billets and treatment of certain illnesses, and various reports and returns'. Crisp undertook post-graduate work after the war in England from April till July 1919, returned to Australia on HMT Port Lincoln, arriving on 14 September 1919, and was demobilised on 18 September 1920.

He died in London while on holiday on 2 August 1966.

The AWM Collection also holds a group portrait of officers of 49 Battalion taken on 7 March 1918 (The group includes Lieutenants E Lawton, W J Hodson, R Colvin MC, C F McDougall, W L Pott, A A Clarke MM, M Jones MM, G F Addison, C K Sheard, E G Sedgwick, J Howarth, T C Naylor, F Y Fox, R G T Turner, Captains J H Willenbrock, A G Rowell, R H Crisp (RMO), A J Gledhill, R Buckley, Church of England Padre, R L Gore, and Majors W L Arrel DSO (T/CO), and C Fortescue DSO MC).

Sources: Based on an edited extract from Geelong Collegians at the Great War compiled by James Affleck; pp159-160 (citing The University of Melbourne: Record of Active Service of Teachers, Graduates, Undergraduates, Officers and Servants (1926); Pegasus; National Archives; AWM 3DRL/2871; E01739); Pegasus April 1912 p7.
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