Frederick George LEWIS

LEWIS, Frederick George

Service Number: Officer
Enlisted: 5 October 1915, Brisbane, Qld.
Last Rank: Lieutenant
Last Unit: 42nd Infantry Battalion
Born: South Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, 30 January 1886
Home Town: Toowoomba, Toowoomba, Queensland
Schooling: Brisbane Boys' Central School, Brisbane Grammar School
Occupation: Bank Clerk
Died: Killed In Action, France, 1 September 1918, aged 32 years
Cemetery: Hem Farm Military Cemetery, Hem-Monacu. France
II D 20
Memorials: Bank of New South Wales Roll of Honour Book, Brisbane 42nd Infantry Battalion AIF Roll of Honour, Brisbane Grammar School Memorial Library WW1 Honour Board 2
Show Relationships

World War 1 Service

5 Oct 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Second Lieutenant, Officer, 42nd Infantry Battalion, Brisbane, Qld.
8 Nov 1915: Promoted AIF WW1, Sergeant, 42nd Infantry Battalion
6 Jan 1916: Promoted AIF WW1, Company Sergeant Major, 42nd Infantry Battalion
17 Jan 1916: Promoted AIF WW1, Second Lieutenant, 42nd Infantry Battalion
5 Jun 1916: Embarked 42nd Infantry Battalion, HMAT Borda, Sydney
5 Jun 1916: Involvement 42nd Infantry Battalion
1 Oct 1916: Promoted AIF WW1, Lieutenant, 42nd Infantry Battalion

Help us honour Frederick George Lewis's service by contributing information, stories, and images so that they can be preserved for future generations.

Biography contributed by Faithe Jones

FREDERICK GEORGE LEWIS was born at South Brisbane on 30th January, 1886, the son of Mr. J. R. H. Lewis and Mrs. Lucie Lewis. He was educated at the Brisbane Boys’ Central School and the Brisbane Grammar School. Entering the Bank’s service on 17th September, 1903, at Brisbane, he was promoted in March, 1907, to ledger-keeper at Toowoomba, Queensland; in October, 1910, he was promoted to teller at Gympie; and in December, 1911, returned to the Brisbane Branch.

Frederick George Lewis enlisted in October, 1915, and was selected for training in the Officers’ School. Early in January, 1916, he was gazetted second-lieutenant and was appointed to D Company, 42nd Battalion, with which unit he sailed from Australia in the following June.

After service in England, he was promoted to lieutenant and went with his battalion to France. While there he took part in many minor operations, and on the morning of the great mining feat at Messines, he was wounded by a shell fragment and gassed. Recovering rapidly in the Wandsworth Hospital, London, he was able to rejoin his battalion early in September.

As Lieutenant Lewis had been successful in arranging entertainments for the men in camp, on the transport, and later, behind the lines in France, he was selected by General Monash to command the 3rd Divisional Concert Party, organized to provide entertainment for the division during the winter. Lieut. Lewis’s party, named the “Cooees,” gained a high reputation for efficiency and popularity. During the operations in the spring and summer of 1918 the Cooees were frequently in the fighting line.

The toll of officers of the 42nd Battalion was so heavy, that in August, 1918, Lieut. Lewis was recalled to his unit, and at once went into action as acting-captain. He had already been recommended for a captaincy. He was engaged at Mont St. Quentin on the morning of 1st September, when his company, entrenched in a large shell-hole, were awaiting supports. Lieut. Lewis, anxious for the safety of his men, went forward to direct the fire of some Stokes’ Trench Mortars on to a nest of enemy machine guns; while doing so he was shot in several places and died at once.

Colonel Woolcock spoke of him as a keen, painstaking officer, full of dash and courage, and caring for his men like a father. The Methodist Chaplain, Major Mills, paid a tribute to his memory as that of one ‘‘whose courage and devotion to duty made him, not only a fine officer, but in the truest sense of the word, an Australian gentleman.” The Roman Catholic Chaplain, Father H. W. Jones, also spoke of him as “one of Nature’s gentlemen, loved and esteemed by officers and men.”

Source - Bank of NSW Roll of Honour