George Edward (Georgie) CRAWFORD

CRAWFORD, George Edward

Service Number: 8802
Enlisted: 28 October 1915, Enlisted in Perth, WA
Last Rank: Sapper
Last Unit: 4th Field Company Engineers
Born: Sale, Victoria, Australia, June 1878
Home Town: Leederville, Vincent, Western Australia
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Engineer
Died: Killed in Action, France, 1 May 1918
Cemetery: No known grave - "Known Unto God"
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Midland Railway Workshops Soldiers Memorial, Mossman War Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux Memorial (Australian National Memorial - France)
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World War 1 Service

28 Oct 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Sapper, 8802, 4th Field Company Engineers, Enlisted in Perth, WA
2 May 1916: Involvement Sapper, 8802, 4th Field Company Engineers, --- :embarkation_roll: roll_number: '5' embarkation_place: Sydney embarkation_ship: HMAT Hororata embarkation_ship_number: A20 public_note: ''
2 May 1916: Embarked Sapper, 8802, 4th Field Company Engineers, HMAT Hororata, Sydney

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Biography contributed by Douglas Booth

George Edward Crawford was born in Sale, Victoria in June 1878, the son of Thomas and Ellen Crawford, nee Lawson.  George worked as an engineer in Perth, WA after having served for five years in the Fremantle Infantry until resigning in 1902.  (See photo.) 

He enlisted for WW1 as a Private at the age of 37 in Perth on 28 October 1915.  Within a couple of months he had been assigned to the 4th Field Company, Australian Engineers as a Sapper and given the Service Number 8802. 

George embarked with his unit from Sydney on 2 May 1916 per HMAT Hororata for a training camp at Tel-el-Kebir in Egypt for AIF reinforcements.  After a brief period there, he was transferred to the Engineers Training Depot at Brightlingsea in Essex, England.  From there he went to France. 

George wrote home about a number of dangerous missions he was involved in, with one of these leading to his tragic death at about 10.15 pm on 30 April 1918.  He was buried under a wooden cross in the chalk pits near Villers-Bretonneux.  Although there is a photograph of his grave, the inscribed cross was destroyed during later battles and so his precise burial place is unknown, one of many among those at Villers-Bretonneux with the inscription 'A Soldier of the Great War — Known unto God'.

Courtesy of Douglas E Booth [email protected]