George Albert CRUTCHFIELD

CRUTCHFIELD, George Albert

Service Number: 709
Enlisted: 11 December 1914, Brisbane, Queensland
Last Rank: Lance Corporal
Last Unit: 5th Light Horse Regiment
Born: Owhara, New Zealand, 30 July 1893
Home Town: Woolloongabba, Brisbane, Queensland
Schooling: East Brisbane State School
Occupation: Stockman
Died: Natural causes, Norman Park, Queensland, 31 January 1972, aged 78 years
Cemetery: Mount Thompson Memorial Gardens & Crematorium, Queensland
Location: Columbarium 11, Section: Section 4
Memorials: Morningside District Honour Roll
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World War 1 Service

11 Dec 1914: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, Brisbane, Queensland
9 Feb 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 709, 5th Light Horse Regiment, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
9 Feb 1915: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 709, 5th Light Horse Regiment, HMAT Itria, Brisbane
10 Nov 1917: Wounded AIF WW1, Private, SN 709, 5th Light Horse Regiment, Egypt and Palestine - Light Horse and AFC Operations
28 Sep 1918: Promoted AIF WW1, Lance Corporal, 5th Light Horse Regiment
8 Oct 1919: Discharged AIF WW1, Lance Corporal, SN 709, 5th Light Horse Regiment

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

Biography contributed by Paul Trevor

The two enlisted children of Charles Crutchfield (deceased) and Maria Kaisa (née Magnall) Crutchfield of Owhara, Waikino, New Zealand:-

21132 Dvr. Charles Henry Crutchfield (/explore/people/372241) - returned to Australia;

709 L/Cpl. George Albert Crutchfield - returned to Australia.

 

'CRUTCHFIELD, George Albert. Lance-Corpl., No. 709, 5th Light Horse. Born at Owara, New Zealand, in 1899, and educated at East Brisbane State School. Son of the late George and Sarah Crutchfield of Ipswich Road, Woolloongabba. Enlisted at Brisbane on 14th December, 1914, and left for Egypt, arriving at Suez in March, 1915, and went to Mahdi Camp. Left for Gallipoli on 22nd July and remained there till the evacuation. Returned to Mahdi and went into the Sinai Desert Campaign till wounded at Beersheba, and was invalided from line, went back to the line till the signing of the Armistice and then went to England. Returned to Australia in July and discharged on 9th September, 1919.' - from Queenslanders Who Fought in the Great War. (nla.gov.au)

 

'DASH BY THE LIGHT HORSE

TRAVERSING MOUNTAINOUS COUNTRY.

Mrs. E. Taylor, Morningside, has received an interesting letter from her brother, G. Crutchfield, of the Light Horse:- “I am writing this while near the firing line. I have seen Jerusalem and Jericho, swam the Jordan over and back; there was a strong current at the time of about eight miles an hour. It’s about 50 to 60 yards across. We had a big ‘box’ on with ‘Jacko’ at the other side, some 25 miles from the Jordan. It’s there where we suffered hardships. It was raining all the time and the county was boggy. We had to walk most of the way as we had to ascend the hills; they were terribly steep and barren. The Alps in Switzerland are not in it for ruggedness, very dangerous in most places as it was mostly all precipitous country, and it would make one giddy to look down the deep gorges some hundreds of feet below. It proved fatal to a lot of camels that accompanied us with rations, &c. We had only a sort of bridle track to move on, and one slip was certain death. We lost a lot of camels that way; they would slip, and down they would go bundle and all. It was surprising how our horses accomplished the task. They were like mountain goats; their instinct told them what danger lay before them if they slipped. We started to climb one night early, and it look us two days to get to the top, so you can picture for yourself the difficulties we had in traveling, half-starved at that, as our ration camels got delayed with the mud and cold, and it was practically four days before we got any sort of an issue to us.

After this we were encountered by the Turks. Of course they gave us a warm invitation by throwing bits of iron and lead at us, but we did good work. It was a bloody battle which lasted for somewhere about a week. After smashing his railways, and blowing his trains and communications about a bit, we left him to repair them again. Then probably we will pay him another visit. ‘Jacko’ does not like the Light Horse paying him these visits. He thinks they are too inhospitable. Well, after we returned to the Jordan, ‘Jacko’ tried to return the compliment, but I am afraid we never made him welcome because he left somewhere about 1000 dead behind him. Before closing this story I may say on our return from Hammond, the name of this big village, the Turkish main line seemed close. They call it the Damascus-Mecca line. It’s one of their main consolidated positions, and we struck, I may say, the picked Turkish army there. They were fine specimens of men, about 5ft. 8in. to 6ft. in height. We captured a great deal of their soldiers. It was a ‘demolition stunt’ to blow up his bridges and tunnels that took them months to build, but ‘Jacko’ had a big bid for these main places. They were strongly entrenched, but we successfully blew up eight miles or thereabouts, of his lines, which well take him some time to repair. Also the Mecca party, comprising the Arab race, which is opposed to Turks, was only eight miles from where we were. It meant if we succeeded in our task we could cut the whole of his army off who were fighting against the Arabs. Still we were successful in other ways in causing him a lot of discomfiture in getting provisions up to his army.

We would have done it only fate was against us for once, raining and sleeting, by jove it was cold, at such an altitude one must expect it. When coming down on our return the country was magnificent. We had a bit of sunshine, and we were more in an optimistic mood. It dashed near made me a ‘Bobbie Burns.’ The splendour of the country, with its rich pastures and wheat fields, and wild flowers. It was most entrancing to see all this, and such a variety, and down the other way you see the precipitate rises with the falls of water like the Barron Falls. It was the prettiest piece of Nature’s work I have ever seen. Then we came upon another big village, called Assault, where our infantry had heavy fighting to gain access to the roads, where the Turks were obstruction. The infantry did their work, so we had the use of the roads to transport our guns and ammunition and rations. The river is 1200ft. below sea level and is like a furnace. Just before you get into the Jordan Valley there is a mountain called ‘The Temptation.’ Right on the top there is a huge stone wall. Inside of this there is supposed to be ruins, the remains of the homestead of Satan, where he tried to entice our Lord to sympathise with him and go the evil road. The city of Jericho is an old tumbled down and dilapidated place. No respectable civilised people would dwell there. It is only an old Arab quarter now.

We stayed four days at Jerusalem. When we were allowed to go and see the sights it was very magnificent. Jerusalem is in two branches, modern and ancient. The ancient place is hemmed in by a huge stone wall 30ft. high. Inside this wall is the place sacred to us all. I visited the old tree that Christ prayed at all night before He was crucified. It is the most magnificent place in the whole of Jerusalem. The garden is protected by a concrete wall, and round the wall are models of Christ to show how He was crucified. They say you are very lucky to see these places, but we had our padre with us and he gained admission, showed us round, and told us a wonderful lot of old and new Jerusalem.” from The Queenslander 31 Aug 1918 (nla.gov.au)

 

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