George Harry OSWALD MC

Poppy

OSWALD, George Harry

Service Number: Officer
Enlisted: 18 October 1915, Adelaide, South Australia
Last Rank: Captain
Last Unit: 43rd Infantry Battalion
Born: Port Adelaide, South Australia, 22 January 1888
Home Town: Maylands, Norwood Payneham St Peters, South Australia
Schooling: Way College and Adelaide District High School, South Australia
Occupation: Teacher
Died: MG to right thigh, then by shell from Mont Saint Quentin, France, 61st Casualty Clearing Station near Daours, Somme, France, 1 September 1918, aged 30 years
Cemetery: Daours Communal Cemetery Extension, France
Daours Communal Cemetery Extension (Plot IV, Row F, Grave No. 22), France
Memorials: Adelaide High School Honour Board, Adelaide National War Memorial, Adelaide University of Adelaide WW1 Honour Roll, Australian War Memorial, Roll of Honour, Gladstone High School WW1 Roll of Honor, Gladstone Town and District WW1 Honour Roll, Peterborough Public School Honour Board WW1, South Australian Education Department Roll of Honour
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World War 1 Service

18 Oct 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Adelaide, South Australia
18 Oct 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Lieutenant, SN Officer, 43rd Infantry Battalion, served as Captain in the Senior Cadets
9 Jun 1916: Embarked AIF WW1, Lieutenant, 43rd Infantry Battalion, HMAT Afric, Adelaide
9 Jun 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Lieutenant, 43rd Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
3 Jan 1917: Promoted AIF WW1, Captain, 43rd Infantry Battalion
18 Apr 1918: Honoured Military Cross, Messines, As Brigade Bombing officer at Messines. Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 57 Date: 18 April 1918
1 Sep 1918: Involvement AIF WW1, Captain, SN Officer, 43rd Infantry Battalion, Mont St Quentin / Peronne

Captain George Harry Oswald

From François Berthout

Today I want to pay a solemn and respectful tribute to Captain George Harry Oswald who fought in the 43rd Australian Infantry Battalion. On the morning of September 1st 1918, during the Battle of Mont Saint Quentin which aims to take the city of Péronne he was wounded by a gunshot at his thigh and groin, he was evacuated to a first aid station but he died of his wounds in the same day at the age of 30 and the next day he was buried at the Daours Communal Cemetery Extension. Captain George Harry Oswald was awarded the Military Cross after an exeptional military service and for his acts of bravery on the battlefield.I would like to add a few words about the battle of Mont Saint Quentin during which he was wounded. This battle was planned by the Australian General John Monash who will say that the success of this attack is due to the courage, the bravery and the daring of his men and the British General Henry Rawlinson will describe the attack as "the greatest military feat of the war".
"Captain George Henry Oswald., who has been killed in action, when he enlisted on August 4, 1915, was in charge of the district High School, Peterborough, and was a captain in the senior cadets. He went into camp on September 1, 1915, with the rank of lieutenant. When the 43rd Battalion was organised he was one of the selected officers and sailed with this battalion on June 9, 1916. After a few months' service in France he was seconded for duty as chief bombing officer for the 11th Brigade. In October, 1917, he was given special divisional staff work in the battle for Passchendaele Ridge, and was awarded the Military Cross for excellent service on that occasion. He afterwards rejoined his battalion and was in the fighting zone until he was fatally wounded on September 1, 1918, on the third anniversary of his commencing service in South Australia. He leaves a widow and one daughter, 4 years of age. Lieutenant-Colonel Butler, formerly commanding officer of the 43rd, in a letter to Mrs. Oswald, says:
"Your husband was one of the best and bravest officers in the battalion. His work at the battles of Messines. Warneton, and Passchendaele was most highly commended by the divisional and brigade commanders. By his courage and devotion to duty he set a magnificent example to all who had the privilege of serving with him. His loss will be most keenly felt by all ranks hi the battalion, and the very deep sympathy of all his comrades will go out to you and all his dear ones.''

We will never forget you 🌺🇦🇺🌺

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Biography

"Captain G. H. OSWALD, M.C., who has been killed in action, when he enlisted on August 4, 1915, was in charge of the district High School, Peterborough, and was a captain in the senior cadets. He went into camp on September 1, 1915, with the rank of lieutenant. When the 43rd Battalion was organised he was one of the selected officers and sailed with this battalion on June 9, 1916. After a few months' service in France he was seconded for duty as chief bombing officer for the 11th Brigade. In October, 1917, he was given special divisional staff work in the battle for Passchendaele Ridge, and was awarded the Military Cross for excellent service on that occasion. He afterwards rejoined his battalion and was in the fighting zone until he was fatally wounded on September 1, 1918, on the third anniversary of his commencing service in South Australia. He leaves a widow and one daughter, 4 years of age. Lieutenant-Colonel Butler, formerly commanding officer of the 43rd, in a letter to Mrs. Oswald, says:-

"Your husband was one of the best and bravest officers in the battalion. His work at the battles of Messines. Warneton, and Passchendaele was most highly commended by the divisional and brigade commanders. By his courage and devotion to duty he set a magnificent example to all who had the privilege of serving with him. His loss will be most keenly felt by all ranks hi the battalion, and the very deep sympathy of all his comrades will go out to you and all his dear ones.'' - from the Adelaide Advertiser 17 Sep 1918 (nla.gov.au)

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Biography contributed by Evan Evans

From François Berthout

Today, On this sunny day, on the old trenches and battlefields of the Somme, in silence, I would like, with gratitude and respect, to pay a very respectful tribute to Captain George Harry Oswald who fought with the 43rd Australian Infantry Battalion, and who died of his wounds 102 years ago, on September 1, 1918 at the age of 30 on the Somme front.

George Harry Oswald was born on January 22, 1888 in Port Adelaide, South Australia and was the son of William and Jane Oswald.George was educated at Way College and then at Adelaide District High School.Before the outbreak of the war, George was married to Vera Oswald and they lived at 26 Wellington Road, Maylands, South Australia.George worked as a teacher and was in charge of the district High School, Peterborough, South Australia and served as Captain in the Senior Cadets.

George went into camp on September 1, 1915, with the rank of lieutenant.Enlisted on October 18, 1915 in Adelaide, South Australia, in the 43rd Australian Infantry Battalion, D Company, at the age of 28, he embarked with his unit from Adelaide, on board HMAT A19 Afric on June 9, 1916 and sailed for France and was disembarked in Le Havre on November 26, 1916 and joined the trenches on December 30, 1916,and was promoted to the rank of Captain on January 3, 1917.

After a few months' service in France he was seconded for duty as chief bombing officer for the 11th Brigade. In October, 1917, he was given special divisional staff work in the battle for Passchendaele Ridge, and was awarded the Military Cross for excellent service on that occasion.He afterwards rejoined his battalion and was in the fighting zone.
Unfortunately, on the morning of September 1, 1918, at 4:00 am while fighting at Saint Quentin, George was severely wounded in the right thigh by a machine gun bullet and then by a shell and was evacuated to the 61st Casualty Clearing Station near Daours, Somme, and despite all the care he was given, George died of his wounds a few hours later that day. He was 30 years old and left behind a mother, a father, a widow and a daughter aged four years.

Lieutenant Colonel Butler, formerly commanding officer of the 43rd Australian Infantry Battalion, in a letter to Mrs. Oswald, says:
"Your husband was one of the best and bravest officers in the battalion. His work at the battles of Messines,Warneton, and Passchendaele was most highly commended by the divisional and brigade commanders. By his courage and devotion to duty he set a magnificent example to all who had the privilege of serving with him. His loss will be most keenly felt by all ranks hi the battalion, and the very deep sympathy of all his comrades will go out to you and all his dear ones."

Today, Captain George Harry Oswald rests in peace with his comrades and brothers in arms at the Daours Communal Cemetery Extension, Somme, and his grave bears the following inscription "One who never turned his back but marched breast forward my beloved "

George Harry Oswald had a brother, Lieutenant Cecil William Orlando Oswald who fought in the 27th Australian Infantry Battalion and who was killed in action on August 31, 1918 at Mont Saint Quentin at the age of 32 and who rests in peace at Herbécourt British Cemetery, Somme.

George also had a cousin, Private number 7533 John Lawson Oswald who fought in the 10th Australian Infantry Battalion and who was killed in action at the age of 20 at Merris and who rests in peace at La Kreule Military Cemetery, Hazebrouk, Flanders.

George, today we respectfully commemorate your memory, the memory of a young man who had a life ahead of him, the memory of a loving husband who fought with his heart and who hoped to return home, the memory of a father who never saw his little girl again but who, I am sure, grew up learning that his father had answered the call of duty for his country, for his family, and who fell after having done his duty with bravery on the battlefields of France for a just cause, to protect peace and humanity. in Passchendaele and in the Somme, officer with exemplary courage, you were always in front of your men, guiding them through the hell that stood in front of you, running through fields of mud turned into fields of death and suffering, in violence, fury and pain, through barbed wire and hellfire from machine guns and cannons destroying thousands of young people lives and shattering thousands of families.Loved by all your men who had the honor and privilege to follow you, you were more than a valiant officer and soldier, you were a brave man among the bravest who, together, fought with devotion and beyond bravery and today you rest in peace all together, all united as you were on the battlefields, sleeping peacefully under the rows of your white tombs, under the poppies that bloom and cover the scars of war, symbol of life and hope, symbol of eternal Remembrance but also symbol of the sacrifices of millions of young men like you George, they bloom, symbol of life after so much blood shed and lives lost. Gone but not forgotten, you are always among us, not just in the peaceful cemeteries in which you rest but living through each of us, in our hearts and in our thoughts, your names will live forever. in light and in peace, you will always be remembered with love and respect, we will never forget you.Thank you George who gave your life, your today for our tomorrow, we will make our tomorrow, your future in which you will live forever with us. 

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