George Bentley PEGLER

Badge Number: 10206, Sub Branch: Cowell

PEGLER, George Bentley

Service Number: 18488
Enlisted: Not yet discovered
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 1st Australian Casualty Clearing Station
Born: Adelaide South Australia, 7 December 1897
Home Town: Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Civil Servant
Died: emphysema, chronic bronchitis due to mustard gas exposure, Cowell South Australia, 11 June 1950, aged 52 years
Cemetery: Not yet discovered
Memorials: Adelaide Australian Harbours Board WW1 Roll of Honour
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World War 1 Service

30 Oct 1917: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 18488, Army Medical Corps (AIF), --- :embarkation_roll: roll_number: '23' embarkation_place: Melbourne embarkation_ship: HMAT Aeneas embarkation_ship_number: A60 public_note: ''
8 Aug 1918: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 18488, 1st Australian Casualty Clearing Station, "The Last Hundred Days"
11 Nov 1918: Involvement Private, SN 18488

Private George Bentley Pegler

Private George Bentley PEGLER –– 184-88 - 1st ACCS.

George Bentley Pegler was born on the 7th December, 1897 at Mile End South Australia. When war was declared, as was with most red blooded young lads of his age keen for adventure, George was eager to enlist. Despite his father having given his written consent on the 14th August, 1916 for him to serve King and Country, George’s mother was not wholly in favour of relinquishing her only son to the Great War. Despite this, George enlisted with the Australian Imperial Force on the 4th April, 1917 at the age of 19.George embarked from Australian shores on 30th October, 1917 on HMAS Aeneas as a Medic with the 4th Medical Division of the Australian Medical Corps.
Initially deployed in the 1st Australia General Hospital in Rouelles and Rouen, France from 2nd April, 1918, George was then redeployed to serve in the field with both the 1st & 3rd Australian Casualty Clearing Stations on the Western Front throughout France & Germany. The 1st ACCS was established almost literally ‘in the front line’ and was often exposed to heavy shelling and mustard gas ( George served with these stations at places such as Hondeghem, St. Venant, after the Fall of Lille, Fretin, and toward the end of his tour of duty, in Tournai Belgium.
Along with the photos, postcards and WW1 British War Medal and Victory Medal within his memorabilia, George also had in his possession an Iron Cross given to him by an enemy German Soldier in recognition of the appreciation he felt for the care George gave him whilst nursed by him in the Clearing Station, telling him ‘he thought he was more deserving of it than he’.
George celebrated his 21st Birthday in France and returned home on HMAT Kanowna on 28th August 1919. At the termination of his service of enlistment George had served two years and 237 days in the AIF, and of this time, one year 359 days were served abroad. George completed his service on the 26th November 1919.
He married Beatrice Vera Dora Cartwright in 1923, and shifted to Cowell, South Australia. Here they raised their two children Cynthia and Valmai. George held the position of Harbourmaster here for 27 years, having the distinction at that time of being the longest serving harbourmaster with the S.A. Harbours Board. He was also a staunch member of the Cowell RSL where he filled the office of secretary for several years, earning him life membership. George passed away on the 11h June, 1950 and is buried at the Cowell Cemetery. He is survived by his daughter Valmai, four grandchildren, and great grandchildren.

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