George Joseph Warner
September 6, 2015
WARNER, George Joseph- – – – SPC 1907-1909
DoB:- – 1896, Ballarat East, VIC
Father:- – George Heaney Warner
Mother:- – Margaret Jane, nee Reay
George Warner was a day student at St Patrick’s, walking up to the College from his home in Armstrong Street. His brother Reay -‘Ray’ Henry Aloysius also attended SPC (1903-1905), and also enlisted for war service.
Service No:- 393
Rank:- – Sapper
Unit:- – 2nd Field Company Engineers (FCE)
George Warner enlisted on 24 February 1915 at the age of 18 years and six months. He was five feet, eight and a half inches tall, with a fair complexion, blue eyes and fair hair. He was an apprentice Engineer, having served two years of his apprenticeship at a company in South Melbourne.
He embarked from Melbourne on 17 April 1915 for overseas service aboard the Hororata, and spent six months from June to December at Gallipoli. After the evacuation of troops from the Turkish Peninsula, he was transferred to the 5th Divisional Engineers at Serapeum, Egypt in March 1916.
George was hospitalised for several months suffering from scabies, and by May 1915 was transferred to England for a full recovery. By August of that year he was considered fit enough to proceed overseas to France, and joined the 15th Field Company Engineers.
He was recommended for, and later received, the Military Medal for operations near Ypres, Belgium. The Major General, Commanding the 1st Australian Division wrote that:
-‘-¦During the operations east of Ypres on 4th October 1917, he was one of a party engaged on the construction of- Strong Point near MOLENAARELSTHOEK. He performed with excellent skill and judgement the additional duties which fell to his lot as a consequence of the wounding of two senior NCO’s. When his section was relieved at night he displayed unselfish gallantry, remaining behind to assist in carrying a wounded comrade to the dressing station; this was a laborious and dangerous task, involving a two mile journey over shell swept and muddy ground -¦’
He was himself wounded in action on 29 October 1917, and was admitted to the 11th Canadian Field Ambulance with a wound to his right arm. After being discharged from hospital, he was granted furlough in England, but then proceeded overseas to Rouelles, France on 16 March 1918. On 24 August he was wounded in action for the second time, and was admitted to the 3rd Field Ambulance with shell wounds to his foot, thigh and elbow. He was transferred back to the 3rd Auxiliary Hospital in Dartford, England.
George was returned to Australia aboard the Takada on Christmas Day 1918, and arrived in Melbourne on 11 February 1919. He was discharged from the AIF at Melbourne on 27 May 1919, as being medically unfit, his disability the result of the gunshot wound to his right foot.
A year after his return to Australia, in 1920, George married Isabella Butler in Melbourne. George worked as a telephone technician, and he and Isabella lived in the Melbourne seaside suburb of Sandringham. They had seven children. Isabella died in 1983.
George Joseph Warner died on 27 March 1986 aged 89 years. At the time of his death he suffered from dementia, which might explain why he was living at the Springvale Nursing Home. He was buried at the Springvale Cemetery, Victoria.