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FLEMING, George (1896-1995)

FLEMING, George (1896-1995)

George Fleming was born on the 18th February 1896, at Newcastle on Tyne, England, the son of George Fleming and Samantha nee Smith. His family came to Australia in 1901.

He was enrolled as a boarder at Geelong College in February 1910, his entry address listed as 85 Elgon St, Hawthorn. He left College in December 1912 and eventually returned to England in 1915 to study Medicine at Durham University.

During World War I, he enlisted in the British Army and after Officer Training School, was promoted Lieutenant in A Battery, 162 Brigade, Royal Field Artillery and gained his captaincy. He was wounded in France. He was awarded a Military Cross, gazetted 15 February 1919, the citation read:
'After losing his Major and Captain he commanded his battery from September 24th 1918 onwards during the advance with conspicuous gallantry and ability. On several occasions, particularly on October 6th, near Aubencheul-au-Bois, he worked his way forward and established forward observation posts under heavy shell fire and as a result of his observation inflicted heavy casualties on the enemy. On October 9th he kept close touch with the leading infantry and established an observation post in Clary while the enemy were still fighting in the village, pushing his guns well forward in close support.'

Returned to Australia via HMT Nestor, he embarked in July 1919.

In 1927, he married Ethel May Polwarth, the daughter of John Polwarth and Agnes nee McAdam of Flemington. He enlisted (No VX104100) in WWII as a Major. After some months at Headquarters in Melbourne he was posted to command the 121st General Transport Company, serving between Alice Springs and Darwin in 1944 and 1945. Major Fleming was discharged 5th November 1945. He died at Wantirna on the 14 July 1995.

Sources: Based on an edited extract from Geelong Collegians at the Great War compiled by James Affleck. pp189-90 and Geelong Collegians at the Second World War page 228 (citing Pegasus; National Archives of Australia, Australian War Memorial).
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