George Arthur GARSIDE

GARSIDE, George Arthur

Service Number: 2362
Enlisted: 12 March 1917
Last Rank: Gunner
Last Unit: 3rd Field Artillery Brigade
Born: Port Melbourne, Victoria, 1885
Home Town: Violet Town, Strathbogie, Victoria
Schooling: Moglonemby State School
Occupation: Farmer
Died: Natural causes, Euroa, Victoria, 21 July 1982
Cemetery: Euroa Cemetery, Victoria
Memorials: Euroa Telegraph Park, Violet Town Honour Roll
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World War 1 Service

12 Mar 1917: Enlisted AIF WW1
4 Aug 1917: Involvement Private, SN 2362, 13th Light Horse Regiment
4 Aug 1917: Embarked Private, SN 2362, 13th Light Horse Regiment, HMAT Themistocles, Melbourne
5 Oct 1919: Discharged AIF WW1, Gunner, SN 2362, 3rd Field Artillery Brigade

Garside's Welcome Home

Quoted from the Euroa Advertiser dated from 10 October 1919:
There was a fine welcome home at Tamleugh West School which is reported in the Sentinel to be ‘crowded’. There were four soldiers expected –Sergeant A Jacka and Gunner George Garside, plus two others who were unable to be present.

There is a report of another welcome home ceremony with a good gathering of townspeople, the Lantern Girls and the Band in attendance. Speeches of welcome were made to which GNR Garside responded. He was then motored off through the avenue of lantern girls to the accompaniment of cheers and music by the band of Mr Allan Carkeek.

The following newspaper report reflects the general feeling among the townsfolk.
‘Councillor Runciman occupied the chair and in appropriate terms welcomed the boys back home. He said that, while Prime Minister (Mr Hughes) was regarded by the boys as their friend and had certainly done much for them, there still remained a great deal to be done for the returned soldiers. One thing he did not agree with in the Prime Minister’s statements was that he claimed to have kept Australia free. It was the boys themselves who had kept Austria free by their magnificent efforts in the field; and he was pleased also to see their boys had kept themselves free for their own Australian girls. (applause). He had much pleasure in presenting as marks of the appreciation of their services by the residents… gold watch guards to SGTs Jacka and Garside… and wished them future happiness and prosperity.’

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GARSIDE George Arthur 2362  GNR
7TH Field Artillery Brigade

While working in Port Melbourne as a plumber, Joseph Garside (b 1840) fell from a ladder and broke his neck.  He died instantly, leaving a wife Annie (née Wood) and three young children.

      George Arthur Garside b 1885-1982
     William Herbert Garside b 1887
     Myrtle Garside b 1889-1893

When Myrtle was four years old she contracted meningitis and died. Her mother, perhaps with the stress of being sole provider for the family, suffered a stroke and lost the power of speech. As a result she was committed to Kew Asylum and spent the rest of her life there. The boys, George aged eight and William aged six, entered a Church of England boy’s home.

Neighbours, Walter Newman and his good wife Emily fostered George.  Emily’s brother Edward Harding and his wife welcomed William into their home. Both families farmed at Moglonemby.  The boys were told that their mother had died; they didn’t find out the truth until well into middle age. In spite of all this George grew up happily with two foster brothers and two foster sisters. He learned to ride and was an excellent horseman.

On 12 March 1917 when he was nearly 32 years old he enlisted and swore to ‘serve the King and Country for the duration of the war plus a further four months’. He was assigned to the 13th Light Horse Regiment.

His service records state that he embarked from Melbourne on 4 August 1917 on board Themistocles.  During the voyage he was promoted to the rank of Corporal. However, two months later when he disembarked at Glasgow Scotland, he reverted to his former rank of Trooper. On 6 October Trooper Garside was mustered as a Gunner in the 3rd Field Artillery Brigade and shipped to France to serve on the Western Front at the Battle of Mount St Quentin.  On 18 September he was wounded when a gun turret exploded spraying him with boiling mud. He was admitted to the 55th Casualty Clearing Station. He returned to his unit two months later.

On 9 July 1919 he returned to Australia aboard Prince Ludwig, disembarked on 5 September, and discharged 5 October.

George’s younger William Herbert became George’s next of kin and as such received his medals.

Service Medals: British War Medal   Victory Medal

Returning from the war, he settled back on the farm ‘Gala’ at Creighton, married Elizabeth Forteath Vance (Betty) in 1923 and together they raised a family. Ian was born in 1925, Jean in 1927 and Bruce in 1929.

George’s daughter Jean, who lives in Longwood has some of her father’s memorabilia. She proudly displayed his ‘dog tags’, two plume badges, one of the 8th LHR and the other 13th LHR. A token medal was present to him at his welcome home at Moglonemby and an armband with a shield inscribed ‘Presented to SGT G Garside by residents of Tamleugh West and Caramomis.’ There is also a photograph among the treasures.

Jean’s memories of her father were that he was a soldier through and through. He ran his family like a military operation.

‘You didn’t argue with my father!’ she said.

George died on 21 July 1982 and is buried in the memorial section of the Euroa Cemetery, Victoria.

Tree no 11 was planted in 1917 by his brother William Herbert Garside. In 2013 his daughter Jean Brown and grandsons Neil and Gary Brown planted a Callistemon - ‘King’s Park Special’ – in his memory.

© Sheila Burnell, December 2015