GOSSE, George

Service Numbers: Not yet discovered
Enlisted: Not yet discovered
Last Rank: Lieutenant
Last Unit: Not yet discovered
Born: Harvey, Western Australia, 16 February 1912
Home Town: North Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia
Schooling: St Peter's College, Royal Australian Naval College
Occupation: Naval Officer, designer
Died: Natural causes, Maslin Beach, South Australia, 31 December 1964, aged 52 years
Cemetery: Centennial Park Cemetery, South Australia
RSL Walls
Memorials: Adelaide 150 Jubilee Commemorative Pavement Plaques - WW2 VC Recipients, Adelaide Torrens Training Depot
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World War 2 Service

20 Mar 1946: Discharged Royal Australian Navy
20 Mar 1946: Discharged
Date unknown: Involvement Royal Australian Navy, Lieutenant
Date unknown: Honoured George Cross

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


George Gosse (1912-1964) was born in Western Australia and educated in Adelaide. He had been in the RAN for several years until 1933, and then rejoined during the war.

He was one of a number of Austrlaian Naval Officers who found their way into the very dangerous occuaption of bomb and mine disposal.  The Germans used sea mines in a range of applications other than their original purpose - a practice they had begun during the Blitz in London.  They were almost invariably booby trapped with multiple devices in the detonation train, specifially intended to kill the teams sent to disarm them.  One man at a time would work on defusing each mine, recording his actions in a recording device monitored by his colleagues located well away from the danger zone.  A mistake would result in the disarmer being vapourised in the resulting blast.  The next process on a similar mine would pick up from where the last recording had ended.

The work of these men was described in a famous book "Softly Tread the Brave".  Gosse arrived on the teams later in the war but the work was no less dangerous.

Once while working underwater on a mine in Bremen harbour, he was lucky to escape when the detonator fired; fortunately, he had just managed to remove the primer. After the war he remained in the RAN Reserve until 1958.


George Gosse has had numerous biographies written of him so it is not the intent of this site to repeat what has already been done in great detail and to good effect elsewhere.

There are two key biographies that the reader may wish to access:

Australian Dictionary of Biography by I. Mcl. Crawford - Click Here (

Extended Australian War Memorial Biography - Click Here (


For further information regarding George Gosse and the George Cross please refer to the related links side-bar.