George James MALCOLM


MALCOLM, George James

Service Numbers: 3536B, 3536
Enlisted: 14 August 1915, Malcolm enlisted at Adelaide
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 10th Infantry Battalion
Born: Naracoorte, 4 July 1890
Home Town: Naracoorte, Naracoorte and Lucindale, South Australia
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Railway Packer
Died: Hit By Shell, Killed In Action, Mouquet Farm, near Pozieres, France, 19 August 1916, aged 26 years
Cemetery: No known grave - "Known Unto God"
Villers Bretonneux Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux, Picardie, France
Memorials: Adelaide National War Memorial, Adelaide South Australian Railways WW1 & WW2 Honour Boards, Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Coonalpyn Honour Roll, Coonalpyn Soldiers Memorial Park Gates, Coonalpyn War Memorial, Naracoorte War Memorial, Naracoorte and District Town Hall Honour Board WW1, Penola Coonawarra & Penola Sub-Branch R.S.S.&A.I.L.A. Honour Roll, Penola War Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux Memorial (Australian National Memorial - France)
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World War 1 Service

14 Aug 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 3536B, 27th Infantry Battalion, Malcolm enlisted at Adelaide
12 Jan 1916: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 3536, 27th Infantry Battalion, --- :embarkation_roll: roll_number: '15' embarkation_place: Adelaide embarkation_ship: HMAT Borda embarkation_ship_number: A30 public_note: ''
27 Feb 1916: Transferred Private, 10th Infantry Battalion, Malcolm was transferred from the 27th Battalion to the 10th Battalion, as they were in need of reinforcements.
23 Jul 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 3536, 10th Infantry Battalion, Battle for Pozières
19 Aug 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 3536B, 10th Infantry Battalion, Mouquet Farm
Date unknown: Involvement SN 3536, 10th Infantry Battalion

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Biography contributed by Saint Ignatius' College


10th Battalion, 27/2/1916-19/8/16

GEORGE James Malcolm was born in Naracoorte, South Australia on the 4th of July in 1890 to Clara and Duncan Malcolm. He had red hair and blue eyes and was a good looking fellow. He lived in Naracoorte for 25 years, until he enlisted. He was educated at the local school and went on to be a railway packer for the State Railway Department at the country Naracoorte station. Malcolm never married, didn’t have a criminal record and only had two other living relations (not including his parents), his brother, Mr. William Malcolm, and sister, Mrs. Gordon Bailey.

ON the 14th of August 1915, Malcolm had made his way to Adelaide to enlist for war. By that time, his parents had passed away, and there wasn’t really any family left for him to stay with. At this time, he was 25 years of age and relatively tall at 182cm and weighed 75kg. Malcolm took an oath that he would be loyal to the AIF, had a medical check and then proceeded to join the 8th Reinforcement of the 27th Battalion. On the 11th of January, Malcolm left Adelaide on the HMAT Borda.

On the 27th of February 1916, Malcolm was transferred from the 27th Battalion to the 10th Battalion because more reinforcements were needed. He was taken to Serapeum for two months to gain a little bit of training and basic military skills. Throughout this time, bonds began to form between the soldiers, and they got to know each other better. After training, the 10th Battalion reinforcements went to the Alexandria Camp where they stayed for a week with the British Expeditionary Forces where some of the Allied soldiers interacted with each other. Soon after this, the 10th Battalion Reinforcements made their way to the Western Front, finally ready for battle.

The first surprise attack that the 10th Battalion Reinforcements underwent was a shell bombing which took place on the 19th of May 1916. A few men were killed and some injured.
Across the next few months there were many surprise shell and bomb attacks on the Western Front where the 10th Battalion was. Sometimes there was damage done to the trenches that had to be fixed. There were men who died and were wounded every day. Half way through June, the 10th Battalion was moved to the front line, where they were hit worst by shells and bombs. The troops moved past ‘Two Tree Farm’.
At the beginning of July, the 10th Battalion moved towards Pozières, and travelled through Black Watch Alley. For another month, the Australians fought hard against the Germans. Malcolm was involved in the Battle of Pozières, against the Germans in 1916. In this battle, the British did not have much help from the French, as they were lacking in numbers, but many Australian soldiers were involved, and a total of 23,000 casualties occurred.

ON the 19th of August, Malcolm went missing in action, and was never to be found again. There is no official report of what happened to him, but a soldier who claims to have been with Malcolm only minutes before when it is guessed he died, said the following:
“Malcolm was with me at Pozières in August 1916 as Battalion Bomber. We two were alone in a sap and he had left me for about 5 minutes when an H.E shell fell on the parapet about 20 yards from me in the direction to which he had gone, and we think he must have been blown to pieces. He was a friend of mine and I knew him well, as he came over with me. I am quite certain of his identity, but of course, cannot be absolutely certain what happened to him”
The soldier then said Malcolm was a red-haired man about 5 ft 8 in tall.

AS Malcolm is thought to be hit by a powerful shell, and was never found, he does not have a grave, so he is ‘Known unto God’. Instead he is remembered at the Villers-Bretonneux Memorial, as well as many other Australian soldiers who lost their lives at the battle of Pozières. The French remember these soldiers especially, because they helped out greatly, especially in a time when their own troops were struggling to play their part in that battle. These soldiers though, did not die in vain. The Australians eventually won over Pozières against the Germans, and this helped the cause of the Allies.

GEORGE James Malcolm showed great ANZAC Spirit, just as many Australian soldiers did during their service for their country. When he first signed up for war, Malcolm surely did not imagine the horrors of the battlefield that would await him. He willingly and unknowingly signed up for war because he was patriotic about his country and wanted to do his part. Even when times were tough, and Malcolm was separated from mates he had made in the 27th Battalion, he kept on serving his country faithfully. ANZAC Spirit is something that all Australian soldiers showed, as they were all brave and courageous and were very determined. They helped each other along the way and only left behind another man if it were deemed absolutely necessary. They were all very happy to sacrifice themselves for another man and for their country.
Malcolm’s death, although uncertain, was one of bravery. He went ahead of his mate to check if it was safe, with great risk that he would not come back from the unknown he was exploring. He is thought to have been killed instantly, by a powerful shell, and was remembered by those who knew him. Although he did not have much family left back home, they were very sad to learn of his death and that it was not known exactly how he died, but they decided to think of him as a hero and were very proud of him, keeping his medals as badges of honour upon their family. Malcolm’s death was also recognised by local newspaper ‘The Register’, telling the basics of his story.
Malcolm and all other Australian soldiers, especially those who died during the war, may not be personally remembered, but we are forever grateful for their service to our country, and the sacrifice that they made.

The AIF Project 2016, UNSW Australia, Canberra, accessed 25 March 2019, <>.

Government of South Australia State Records n.d., Our Catalogue- ArchivesSearch, State Records of SA, Adelaide, accessed 25 March 2019, <>.

Roll of Honour n.d., Australian War Memorial, Canberra, accessed 25 March 2019, <>.

Virtual War Memorial n.d., Canberra, accessed 25 March 2019, <>.

Quick Search n.d., State Library of South Australia, Adelaide, accessed 25 March 2019, <>.

‘Our Fallen Heroes, the Australians’ 1917, The Register July 25, pp. 198-198, accessed 25 March 2019, Trove Newspapers, Trove.

Find War Dead n.d., Commonwealth War Graves Commission, accessed 25 March 2019, <,-george-james/>.

National Archives of Australia n.d., Record Search, Australian Government, Canberra, accessed 25 March 2019, <>.