George Ernest Elston
Serial No. 6017
George Ernest Elston - Information
When George decided to enlist in the AIF, he was living in Kuridala, Queensland and working as a labourer. George was born in Minto c1887, before relocating to Queensland. Sadly, he had family in Wagga Wagga, but had not had contact with them for many years. When he was 28, he joined the AIF in Townsville on the 14th of February 1916. George left for war service as a Private with the 9th Battalion. He departed Brisbane on the 8th of August 1916 onboard the HMAT Itonus. However, as the ship took berth in Cape Town, South Africa, George failed to embark for England, needing treatment for VD. However, upon arrival, his training was stifled by further treatment.
Once recovered, he was taken to the Training Battalion in Larkhill. Unluckily in March 1917, he then contracted the mumps and was hospitalised. In late April, he was shipped to France via Folkestone. Stationed to the 1st Australian Division Base Depot in Etaples, he joined the 9th Battalion in the field on the 1st of May. At the time, the Battalion was at Lagnicourt near Bullecourt. The Germans had launched an attack to slow the Allied advance to the Hindenburg Line, and fierce fighting erupted. Then on the 7th of May, just six days after joining his unit, George was classified as missing in action. By December, he was still unaccounted for, and a Court of Enquiry was ordered. Witnesses from his unit went on to explain, that on the 7th of May, George was on duty in a working party when he was hit by an artillery shell. They said he made it to a Dressing Station but died of his wounds. Unfortunately, what happened to his body after that is unknown, even to this day. His name is recorded on the Villers-Bretonneux Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux in France.