George Alwynne Garfitt BARLOW

BARLOW, George Alwynne Garfitt

Service Number: 3978
Enlisted: 2 August 1915, Adelaide, South Australia
Last Rank: Lance Corporal
Last Unit: 10th Infantry Battalion
Born: Koolunga, South Australia, 8 January 1889
Home Town: Adelaide, South Australia
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Clerk
Died: Wounds, France, 21 August 1916, aged 27 years
Cemetery: Puchevillers British Cemetery, France
Plot II, Row F, Grave 41
Memorials: Adelaide National War Memorial, Adelaide St Mary Magdalene Church Honour Roll, Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Unley Arch of Remembrance, Unley Town Hall WW1 Honour Board
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World War 1 Service

2 Aug 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, 3978, Adelaide, South Australia
2 Dec 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, 3978, 10th Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
2 Dec 1915: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, 3978, 10th Infantry Battalion, RMS Malwa, Adelaide
1 Aug 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Lance Corporal, 3978, 10th Infantry Battalion, Battle for Pozières
4 Aug 1916: Promoted AIF WW1, Lance Corporal, 10th Infantry Battalion

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Biography contributed by Evan Evans

From François Berthout

LCpl 3978 George Alwynne Garfit Barlow
10th Australian Infantry Battalion,
3rd Brigade, 1st Australian Division
Over a hundred years ago, through the red fields of the poppies of the Somme which undulate in peaceful and silent waves, fought and fell thousands of men, a whole generation who through the battlefields and the trenches, gave part of their youth to do their duty and who stood side by side with the greatest courage until their last breath and who, for many, did not have the chance to return home and found, in the fields of France, the Somme, their last place of rest but which today, more than ever, are remembered and honored and whose memory we will keep with the greatest care so that their names, with love and respect, live forever beyond innumerable rows of white graves that stand in silence in the cemeteries and the old battlefields of the Somme. They will never be forgotten.

Today, it is with an eternal gratitude and with deep respect that I would like to honor the memory of one of these young men, one of my boys of the Somme who gave his today for our tomorrow. I would like to pay a very respectful tribute to Lance Corporal number 3978 George Alwynne Garfit Barlow who fought in the 10th Australian Infantry Battalion, 3rd Brigade, 1st Australian Division, and who died of his wounds 105 years ago,on August 21, 1916 at the age of 27 on the Somme front.

George Alwynne Garfit Barlow was born on January 8, 1889 in Koolunga, South Australia,and was the son of Charles Barlow and Mildred Barlow (née Chapman). George first lived in Hughes And Robert Streets, Unley, South Australia, then met Flora Olive Ward whom he married and lived together at 6 Bloomsbury Street, Unley. Before the outbreak of the war, George was a member of the Adelaide Rifle Club and worked as a clerk and employed by Mr Kither, of Rundle Street, Adelaide, South Australia.

George enlisted on August 2, 1915 in Adelaide, South Australia, as a Corporal in the 10th Australian Infantry Battalion, 12th Reinforcement, and after a three month training period, he embarked with his unit from Adelaide, on board RMS Malwa on December 2, 1915 and sailed for Egypt.

In early February, George arrived in Egypt and was, shortly after, promoted to the rank of Sergeant and a month later, on March 29, 1916, with the 10th Australian Infantry Battalion, proceeded to join the BEF (British Expeditionary Force) at Alexandria where he embarked the same day on board "Transylvania" and proceeded overseas for France, for the front.

On April 4, 1916, after an uneventful trip at sea, George was disembarked in Marseilles under a sunny weather and two months later, on June 12, 1916, George first joined the line of fire in the Petillon sector and was reverted the same day to the rank of Private and the following month, on July 1, 1916, while the battle of the Somme began,George and the 10th Australian Infantry Battalion were sent to the Somme and arrived at Sailly then had a period of rest followed by a period of training, then on July 22, joined the trenches in the Black Watch Alley sector, in Pozieres, which was the first major engagement of the 10th Battalion and the AIF on the Somme front where they lost 23,000 men in less than seven weeks.

A little over a week after joining the front line trenches at Pozieres, George was promoted to the rank of Lance Corporal on August 1, 1916 and on August 16, marched with his battalion to Mouquet Farm where he fought with great courage, but unfortunately five days later,on August 21, 1916 George met his fate.

On August 21, 1916, orders were received to attack the Fabeck Graben alongside the 3rd Brigade and the attack of the 3rd Brigade took place in broad daylight, the first time that the Australians had done this on the Somme. The attacking force was strengthened by two parts from the 11th Battalion responsible for linking up with the 10th and 12th, but needing to come from way back as Sausage Valley they were seen by the enemy who put down a barrage on the reserve company of the 12th moving up Kay Trench. To finally get to the front line men had to rush open ground, in view of the enemy. Thus all chance of surprise had gone, and the Germans put down a barrage and within one hour the 10th had lost 120 of its 620 officers and men. The attacking waves proceeded but with the enemy behind both flanks the 10th fell back. Some of those that went farthest attempted to retire but without support and surrounded the survivors surrendered. The 12th though had more success and had created a small salient almost touching the south-eastern corner of the Mouquet Farm.

Unfortunately, during the attack on the Fabeck Graben, George was severely wounded by a shell and was immediately evacuated to the 44th Casualty Clearing Station at Puchevillers, a few miles from Pozieres but died shortly after being admitted,he was 27 years old.

Today, Lance Corporal George Alwynne Garfit Barlow rests in peace with his friends, comrades and brothers in arms at Puchevillers British Cemetery, Somme.
the announcement of the death of George Alwynne Garfit Barlow was published in The Advertiser on September 8, 1916 with the following words:
"Barlow-Died of wounds 21st August 1916, Alwynne, dearly loved husband of Flora Olive Barlow, aged 20 years. His king and country called him, the call was not in vain;on Britain's roll of honor you will find my darling's name. Inserted by his sorrowing wife Flo."

In the last letter George wrote, he said:
"Should I go under in the next action, it can only be put down to the fortunes of war."

George had two brothers who served during the war, the first of whom was named Leslie Ernest Barlow, Private number 1307 and fought in the 10th Australian Infantry Battalion then in the 50th Australian Infantry Battalion, he was wounded twice in Gallipoli and one third time in France then was sent back to Australia on August 25, 1917.

George's second brother was named Vere Walter Thomas Barlow, Private number 5035 and also fought in the 10th Australian Infantry Battalion before serving in the Australian Medical Corps. He survived the war and was discharged on September 30, 1919.

George, you who have done your duty with bravery and loyalty for your country, Australia and for France for which you came from so far and for which you gave your life, I would like today, from the bottom of my heart, with an infinite and eternal gratitude to say thank you for all that you have done for us who have the privilege to walk and live in peace through the fields of poppies on which so many young men fought and shed their blood side by side , where so many young heroes stood with honor and fell for just causes that united them and kept them strong in the mud and under the artillery and machine gun fire that took so many lives at an unrelenting rate.In the barbed wire, in the shell holes, a whole generation of men was lost in the clay and blood that were the battlefields of the Somme which, under the bite of tons of shells and steel were transformed in a deep and abominable quagmire over which reigned the stench of death and poison gas which burned the eyes and lungs of young boys who were submerged by this apocalypse of fire and steel which set the world ablaze in a murderous war.Young but so brave, they faced their fears and took a step forward, united in mateship, they fought the good fight and did what was right but in the trenches, in bloodshed, the war stole from them their youth and their innocence and became men, aged 20, they were already the veterans of one of the deadliest battles in history, the witnesses of the deadliest century in history and in the trenches, on the no man's land of the great war, they saw the shadows spread under the flames, they saw their friends, their brothers and their fathers who were mowed down, amputated and pulverized by bullets, shells and grenades in an outburst of brutality and violence that were the battlefields of the great war and the Somme which were described as real butchers, an endless nightmare.Brave among the bravest, these young men who did not all receive medals were all, each of them real heroes and fought like lions, they fought with their hearts and their convictions, with their dreams and their hopes they moved forward so that from their courage and their sacrifices can be born a better world for their loved ones, for their comrades and the next generations that we are.For their country and for us they went over the top and risked their lives, they charged bravely under fire, under hailstones of lead and shrapnel exploding around them, they gave their today, their whole without hesitation and in the poppies, they were thousands to give their lives and who did not have the chance to return home but they found, here, in the silence of the old battlefields of the Somme and in the white cities, their last resting place under their graves through which I would always walk with gratitude and respect to honor their memory, to bring to life their memory and their stories which are the torch that they passed on to us and that I would always carry in my hands and in my heart with love so that they will never be forgotten and so that their lives and their sacrifices inspire us, so that the peace for which they gave their lives remain eternal and unite us just as they were over a hundred years ago so that we can live today. Thank you so much George, for everything,with all my heart.At the going down of the sun and in the morning,we will remember him,we will remember them. 




Mrs. Barlow, of Bloomsbury street, Hyde Park, has been informed that her husband, Lce.-Cpl. G. Alwynne G. Barlow, died on August 21, 1916, from wounds received in action in France. The deceased was born at Koolunga in January 1889. He enlisted about 13 months ago, and left South Australia on December 2, 1915, as a corporal with reinforcements for the 10th Battalion. Soon after his arrival in Egypt he was promoted to the rank of sergeant, but had to forego the rank on joining a battalion in France. He went through the first 'big push' at Pozieres, where he regained one stripe, and was recommended to receive the second, but, unfortunately, fell in the second action. He met his younger brother, Pte. L. E. Barlow, late of the original 10th Battalion (who was twice wounded on Gallipoli) in France. Pte. L. E. Barlow has been reported wounded in France (for the third time). There is an other brother, Pte. V. W. T. Barlow, serving in France. The deceased was a clerk in the employ of Mr. Kither, of Rundle street, Adelaide, when he enlisted. In his last letter to his brother (Constable Barlow, of Semaphore) the deceased wrote:— 'Should I go under in the next action, it can only be put down to the fortunes of war.' The deceased, who was well liked by all who knew him, has left a large circle of sorrowing relatives and friends." - from the Adelaide Register 04 Oct 1916 (