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GEORGE, Stanley Willis (1894-1916) +

GEORGE, Stanley Willis (1894-1916)

Stanley Willis George was born on 2 March 1894 at Geelong, the son of Henry Alfred George and Agnes nee Mathison, of 'Illawarra', Aberdeen Street, Geelong, he was educated at Flinders School and Geelong College where he was enrolled in 1908.

He served as a Sergeant in the School Cadets then with 29th Light Horse (Militia). During World War I, he enlisted (No 1822) in the AIF on 3 July 1915, and embarked with 8th Light Horse (3rd Reinforcement Group) for France on HMAT A32 Themistocles on 28 January 1916, where he transferred to 13th Field Company, Australian Engineers.

S W George (George Family).

S W George (George Family).

He wrote to his mother shortly before his death, on 23 July 1916:
‘Here we are again, still as healthy and as safe as ever but I am not in the same front as when I wrote to you last. We had one week out of the trenches but yesterday we were removed to a different front a little bit hotter but nevertheless that won’t make you worry that poor old head of yours I hope. Last night we were shifted away to the firing line again, so we don’t have much time to ourselves as the week out consisted of a series of route marches, about five miles a day as a rule. Talk about a row, last night it was simply hell on earth, every species of warfare was banging booming and buzzing whistling and singing about our heads but just to tell you how the risk of being shot is – for instance last night without a doubt we were in a pretty dangerous area but the bark is worse than the bite, as out of the whole company, not one was killed but about four of the chaps were slightly wounded, several of us (myself included) were splashed with crumbs of dirt caused by the shells exploding in the ground and they make a nice little hole I can tell you. To imagine the row they kick up if you want to speak to the chap working next to you about four feet you have to bawl into his ear. If anybody says anything about the stretcher-bearers tell them they are cracked. Never mind how solid the bombardment is they have to duck out in the open, get their man and take him to the 1st Dressing Station so if that is cold-footed, I don’t mind being a cold foot for the rest of my natural. The drivers on the limbers catch it at times galloping about of a night dodging all the shell holes as well as the shells themselves, in fact if I joined again it would be as a motor driver or an Army Service man, they are pretty safe, that is of course if I wanted that sort of job. ‘

He met his death on 5 August 1916, Sgt James Crabbe (of Eaglehawk) wrote to the Red Cross Information Bureau describing the circumstances of his death:
‘Both these casualties (George and L/Cpl H G March) were Corporals in my section at Pozieres on the 5th to 14th August 1916 respectively. They were in charge of working gun parties on fatigue engaged in the communication trenches. We searched through each Dressing Station through which they might have passed but could find no trace of either man. Both the 5th August and the 14th August were very stormy bad nights and it was impossible to trace the men. However it is absolutely impossible that either of these men could have been taken prisoners. They were both fine lads. I made personal enquiries about them in November 1916, on my return to the unit from which I had been invalided.’

‘Stan’ George has no known grave. His name is commemorated on Villers Bretonneux Memorial, France.

Two Brothers, John Stawell George (1890-1917) who was also killed in World War I, and Walter Henry George, were also educated at Geelong College.

Sources: 'Geelong Collegians at the Great War' compiled by J. Affleck. pp41-42 (citing Australian War Memorial; Photo George Family.)
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