Serial No. 739
Edmund Geary - Information
The Geary family was sadly broken up by a tragedy. Edmund was a child of David and Bridget Geary, born in Camden c1878. Unfortunately, both his parents passed away when he was very young. The Geary children were then split. Luckily for Edmund and his brother, James, they were taken care of by their older sister, Mary. Sadly, at this time, Mary lost track of her other siblings. When he was older, Edmund served in the Colonial Forces and found work as a labourer. As war with Germany was declared on the 5th of August 1914, Edmund was working in Lithgow. He decided to enlist in the newly formed AIF on the 22nd of August 1914 in Randwick, aged 35. Whilst in training, Edmund was posted to the 2nd Battalion as a Private. He was then sent overseas for war service on the 18th of October 1914, embarking Sydney onboard the HMAT Suffolk.
Edmund and the other eager lads did not go to France as expected, but to Egypt. They endured further training in the desert heat, before orders came through. The Allies planned to attack Turkish forces on the Gallipoli Peninsula and drive forward into Constantinople. On the 5th of April, Edmund unit’s was mustered for the Dardanelles. Edmund and his mates rushed ashore, in the initial landing waves on the 25th of April. Unfortunately, a flat plateau did not await them, but steep cliffs. Clambering up the ridges, the Turks started launching counter-attacks; the troops had to dig in for cover. Dejectedly, stalemate ensued, and a plethora of precarious trenches were built along the coast. Edmund and the 2nd Battalion lived through months of appalling heat, plagued with flies, fleas, rats and the atrocious odour of rotting corpses. On the 8th of June, a bomb exploded lacerating Edmund’s scalp. He was admitted to the 2nd Field Ambulance, and was back with his unit the following day. To break the stalemate, plans were arranged for a series of attacks to occur coincidently in August. The 2nd Battalion were part of the assault at Lone Pine on the 6th of August. During these bitter attacks, Edmund was killed in action between the 7th and 14th of August. He was later buried, and is now located in the Lone Pine Cemetery, Gallipoli Peninsula, Canakkale Province in Turkey.
Edmund’s sister, Mary, was informed of his death. She was now married to a Mr J. Maher and residing in Ultimo. She thanked the army for the information and went onto explain that three of her brothers had died within the last four years. Mary and her husband proudly accepted Edmund’s war medals and memorial scroll.