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GOVETT, Hubert Esme (1890-1915) +

GOVETT, Hubert Esme (1890-1915)

H A Govett (Old Melburnians War Service)

H A Govett (Old Melburnians War Service)

Hubert Esme Govett, born in 1890, was the third child of Robert Govett and Lydia Laura ‘Lily’ nee Teale, of St Albans, and attended Melbourne Grammar Preparatory School, prior to entering Geelong College.

He left for England aged seventeen to study Engineering at Crystal Palace Engineering College, and was employed at the British Thomson Houston firm of engineers at Rugby for some years. He joined the Royal Engineers (No. 41192) in August 1914, quickly rose to the rank of corporal, with 67 Field Company, Royal Engineers and was twice offered a commission.

Second Corporal Govett was killed by a shell during the Evacuation of Gallipoli on 19 December 1915, while waiting to blow up a gun, if necessary.

Over the eleven nights from 8 to 20 December 1915, 90,000 troops were evacuated from Anzac and Suvla Bays. To disguise their departure, self-firing guns were set up along the Allied trenches. The men who were left also fired shots spasmodically in addition to these guns. Govett was one of the last to be buried in the 11th Division Cemetery, Kavakol Gap, Suvla - Grave I.I.7, and almost certainly one of the last to be killed on the Gallipoli Peninsula.

Govett’s older brother, Robert Eric Govett was educated at Melbourne Grammar School, and worked as a rubber planter in the Free Malay States until he enlisted in the 3rd DAC in January 1917. He served in France late in the war, but was evacuated due to illness to England in November 1918 where he subsequently died in 1921.

Govett’s cousin, Private Hugh Lindsay ‘Wren’ Teale, son of Alfred Teale, of Moonee Ponds, 38 Battalion, was killed on 19 November 1917 opposite Warneton, and buried in Underhill Farm Cemetery, Ploegsteert, Belgium - Grave A.39. Underhill Farm and Red Lodge were the names given to two buildings on the north-western edge of Ploegsteert Wood. They were occupied by dressing stations and the cemetery which they used is close to the farm. The cemetery was begun in June 1917, and used until January 1918.

Sources: 'Geelong Collegians at the Great War' compiled by J. Affleck. pp44-45 (citing J Beacham Kiddle OBE, War Services Old Melburnians 1914-1918 (1923); Phil Taylor and Pam Cupper, Gallipoli: A Battlefield Guide (2000); Australian War Memorial; Commonwealth War Graves Commission; Liber Melburniensis – Centenary Edition; Photo War Services Old Melburnians 1914-1918; 'SODA', National Archives of Australia

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