Meysey George HAMMOND MC and bar, MM

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HAMMOND, Meysey George

Service Number: 80
Enlisted: 25 February 1915, Enlisted: Blackboy Hill, Western Australia
Last Rank: Captain
Last Unit: 28th Infantry Battalion
Born: Handsworth, Staffordshire, England, September 1893
Home Town: Broome, Broome, Western Australia
Schooling: Worcestershire School
Occupation: P.O. assistant
Died: Died of wounds, GSW abdomen, Morlancourt, France, 14 June 1918
Cemetery: Vignacourt British Cemetery
Plot III, Row C, Grave No. 17
Memorials: Broome War Memorial 2, Postmaster General's Department Perth WWI HR
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World War 1 Service

25 Feb 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Corporal, SN 80, 28th Infantry Battalion, Enlisted: Blackboy Hill, Western Australia
12 Jul 1915: Involvement Corporal, SN 80, 28th Infantry Battalion
12 Jul 1915: Embarked Corporal, SN 80, 28th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Ascanius, Fremantle
6 Aug 1915: Promoted AIF WW1, Sergeant, 28th Infantry Battalion
27 Jul 1916: Wounded Sergeant, SN 80, 28th Infantry Battalion, Pozières, GSW letg
29 Jul 1916: Promoted AIF WW1, Second Lieutenant, 28th Infantry Battalion
19 Apr 1917: Honoured Military Medal, 15/6/1916: for coolness under fire
20 Jul 1917: Promoted Lieutenant, 28th Infantry Battalion
10 Nov 1917: Wounded AIF WW1, Second Lieutenant, SN 80, 28th Infantry Battalion, 2nd Passchendaele , GSW elbow
14 Jun 1918: Promoted AIF WW1, Captain, 28th Infantry Battalion
25 Jul 1918: Honoured Military Cross, Third Ypres, 24/9/1917: As Intelligence Officer he went forward with the advance party and secured much valuable information. Though only having the use of one arm, he captured a score of prisoners single handed.
12 Feb 1919: Honoured Military Cross and bar, Posthumous: For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty in an attack. Morlancourt, June 10/11 1918

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Biography contributed by Evan Evans

From the AWM:

History / Summary
Captain George Meysey Hammond, also known as Meysey George Hammond, was born in England, emigrated to Australia in 1911, and enlisted on 25 February 1915 in 28th Battalion, AIF.

He was awarded the Military Medal as a sergeant for his bravery near Bois Grenier, France on 2 June 1916 when, under heavy fire, he went forward to gather important information on enemy activity. Hammond was wounded in the leg at Pozieres on 29 July, leaving him with an enduring limp, the same day that he was commissioned a second lieutenant. He incurred a second more serious wound on 5 November at Flers when his elbow was shattered, rendering his left arm permanently useless, which had to be supported in a sling. In January 1917 he was promoted to lieutenant. 

Despite the handicaps resulting from his wounds, Hammond convinced the authorities to return him to front line service.

For his actions as an Intelligence Officer near Westhoek on 20 September 1917 he was awarded the Military Cross (MC). While having only one functioning arm and the added handicap of a walking stick, he managed to single-handedly capture 20 German prisoners and gather important information. 

On Christmas Day near Ploegsteert, Hammond had a narrow escape from a sniper when a bullet was stopped by his field notebook and this cigarette case as it tore through his breast pocket. In early 1918 Hammond was posted to the Australian War Records Section in England but following numerous appeals to his superiors he returned to his battalion in France in May as captain in command of 'A' company.

His actions near Morlancourt on 10 June 1918 were recognised with the award of a bar to his Military Cross. During the fighting he moved across no-mans-land, ten metres in front of his men, directing the attacking line with his walking stick hanging from his useless left arm and a watch in his right hand. Despite the danger he frequently had his back to the enemy while following closely behind the creeping artillery barrage, and would occasionally straighten the line with a wave of his stick. When his men followed him into the German trench, Hammond had already captured a number of enemy prisoners. He was mortally wounded by a sniper’s bullet the following day and died on the 14th.

A fellow officer said of Hammond that 'I am quite sure that [he] did not know what fear meant…I never once saw him duck for either a shell or a bullet'. He is buried in Vignacourt Cemetery.

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