George Holbrook PATTERSON


PATTERSON, George Holbrook

Service Number: Officer
Enlisted: 1 April 1916
Last Rank: Major
Last Unit: 7th Field Artillery Brigade
Born: Geelong, Victoria, 3 November 1888
Home Town: South Yarra, Melbourne, Victoria
Schooling: Geelong Grammar School & Melbourne University
Occupation: Soldier
Died: Killed in action, Belgium, 14 April 1917, aged 28 years
Cemetery: Hyde Park Corner (Royal Berks) Cemetery
Row C, Grave no.I
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World War 1 Service

1 Apr 1916: Enlisted AIF WW1, Captain, SN Officer, 23rd Field Artillery (Howitzer) Brigade
20 May 1916: Involvement Captain, 23rd Field Artillery (Howitzer) Brigade
20 May 1916: Embarked Captain, 23rd Field Artillery (Howitzer) Brigade, HMAT Medic, Melbourne
1 Aug 1916: Transferred AIF WW1, 7th Field Artillery Battery, Rank: Temporary Major
21 Jan 1917: Transferred AIF WW1, Major, 3rd Division Headquarters
19 Mar 1917: Promoted AIF WW1, Major
14 Apr 1917: Involvement Major, 7th Field Artillery Brigade


Roll of honour – trove newspaper articles

PATTERSON. -Killed in action, April 14,
Major George Holbrook Patterson, Royal Australian Garrison Artillery, aged 28 years, only son of the late S. Patterson, Esq., Geelong Church of England Grammar School, and Mrs. Patterson, Tetsworth,

The Mercury 1st May 1917

Mrs. Patterson, mother of the late Major G. H. Patterson, who was killed in action in France on April 14th, has received a letter of condolence from Brigadier-General H. W. Grimwade, who is in command of the 3rd Australian Divisional Artillery. Major Patterson had many friends in Hobart, and was formerly in command of the R.A.G.A. here.

Brigadier-General Grimwade says: - Your son had set a splendid example of loyalty and devotion to duty to all those around him, as well as those under him. He had achieved for his battery a splendid reputation and his men were all devoted to him. He will be sorely missed by the whole of his brigade, and his replacement will be a difficulty. He did his work in a high-spirited manner, perfectly regardless of personal dangers, but he was not careless and has death can only be attributed to the misfortune of war ,the misfortune which has cost our nation so many of her splendid men.

I recommended your son for his majority, and he received that promotion only a few days before he was killed. He was buried in a cemetery in Ploegsteort Wood, on Belgian territory, near a spot known as Hyde-park Corner, where he lies for his last rest with many other splendid British soldiers. His unit is making a cross to erect at the head of his grave."

Mrs. Patterson has also received a letter from Lieut.-Colonel H. D. K. Macartney of the 7th Field Artillery Brigade, now on active service, who was a schoolmate of Major Patterson's. Speaking of Major Patterson, he says : -"1 can assure you that he was a loss to me as a friend, and a very decided and deep loss to the unit, to which he belonged. Ho had just received promotion on my recommendation, owing to the excellent service he had performed during the three months in which he had commanded the Battery on active service. His battery was a credit to his energy, and had performed most excellent service. He showed extraordinary energy, and I fear ,excessive boldness and fearlessness in the face of danger. He never shrank from the performance of any duty, and often in registering his battery had to expose himself to enemy fire. On the occasion on which he lost his life he was registering his battery from an exposed position which had become known to the enemy. He did not attempt to move from this position until his duty was completed, and he was about to evacuate the position when a shell burst beside him, and I am glad to say that I do not think he suffered much pain, as he died within half an hour after receiving the wound. He was buried the following day in the presence of officers of each battery of the brigade. The position selected for his burial is a prominent one which is already famous throughout the British army, owing to the fierce fighting which took place in the earlier part of the war in that vicinity. The whole of the officers and men of this brigade mourn his loss as a true man and an exceptionally efficient officer."

The Mercury Hobart 17th July 1917

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Biography contributed by Sharyn Roberts

George Holbrook PATTERSON was born on 3rd November, 1888 in Geelong, Victoria

His parents were Samuel PATTERSON & Theresa TAYLOR

He had previous military service with the Royal Australian Garrison Artillery & the Commonwealth Military Cadet Corp (Senior Cadets) in 1908 where he held the rank of Lieutenant - he had matriculated from Melbourne University in 1904 

He was serving as a Captain in the Royal Australian Garrison Artillery & then enlisted on 1st April, 1916 as a Captain & embarked from Melbourne with the 23rd Howitzer Brigade on 20th May, 1916 on the HMAT Medic - he was transferred to the 23rd Field & then to the 7th Australian Field Artillery Brigade where he was a Major

George was Killed in Action on 14th April, 1917 & is buried in Hyde Park Corner (Royal Berks) Cemetery

His name is memorialised on the Australian War Memorial & he is honoured at the Soldiers Memorial Walk in Tasmania where a tree was planted in his memory.  He was awarded the British War Medal & the Victory Medal