ESMORE, Hubert Charles (1876-1951)

Modified on Wed, 26 Oct 2016 13:18 by Con — Categorized as: Biography - All, Biography - Students, Geelong College, Biography of War - Anglo-South African, Biography of War - World War I

ESMORE, Hubert Charles (1876-1951)

Hubert Charles Esmore was born at Emerald, Victoria, in 1876, the son of Francis James Esmore and Grace nee Fridgins.

He is reputed to have been educated at Geelong College. He is not, however, recorded in the College Enrolment Register nor on the World War I memorial tablet. He does not appear in any of the prize lists. He served for fifteen months with the Victorian Contingent during the Anglo-South African War.

He was working as a farm hand when he enlisted, (No 2337) aged 39, in the AIF as a Private on 23 September 1914, in the 1st Reinforcement Group to 6 Battalion. He embarked on HMAT A32 Themistocles on 22 December 1914, and served on Gallipoli, where he suffered a gunshot wound to the shoulder on 25 May. He was evacuated, suffering rheumatism, to Australian Auxiliary Hospital, Luna Park, Heliopolis.

He then embarked for France with his battalion, and was present when his younger compatriot from school days, Lt Elgar Watts Opie, was killed in the huge German bombardment on 4 October 1917, submitting a report of the circumstances of Opie’s death to the Red Cross Information Bureau. He then suffered the effects of a gas attack on 26 March 1918, being evacuated to England on HS Pieter de Conick. On 7 May 1918 he married Margaret Eleanor Quinnell, of Oakfield Road, Penge, Kent, in the Registry Office, Croydon. His wife, however did not follow him to Australia and the couple had no children. Neither ever re-married. Esmore returned to Australia on HMT Medic, embarking on 24 August 1918.

(The 6th Battalion’s first major action in France was at Pozières in the Somme valley in July 1916. After Pozières the battalion fought near Ypres, in Flanders, returning to the Somme for winter. In 1917, the battalion participated in the operations that followed up the German withdrawal to the Hindenburg Line, and then returned to Belgium to join the great offensive launched to the east of Ypres. During the Battle of Menin Road in September 1917, Lt Frederick Birks earned the 6th Battalion’s only Victoria Cross. Birks was killed by a shell burst the next day while trying to rescue men buried during a bombardment.)

Esmore died on 18 April 1951.

Sources: Based on an edited extract from Geelong Collegians at the Great War compiled by James Affleck. p187 (citing Pegasus; Australian War Memorial; National Archives).