Gerald Thompson Little

July 20, 2015

LITTLE, Gerald Thompson- – – – SPC 1904-1907

DoB:- – 14 January 1890, Bacchus Marsh, VIC

Father:- – David Armstrong Little

Mother:- – Annie Margaret, nee Hanigan

All five brothers from the Little family were boarders from Bacchus Marsh: Tom, David, Jack, Leo and Gerald.

Gerald passed his Matriculation year with the following subjects: English, Arithmetic (Distinction), Algebra, Geometry, History, Physics, French and Latin.

The College liked to report on the successes of former Collegians and in the Annual of 1910 it was noted that –

-‘-¦ Gerald Little has lately been appointed junior instructor at the Working Men’s College [now RMIT] to a class of twelve students preparing for a course in surveying and engineering. This is highly creditable, seeing that he also holds a position in the surveying branch of the Lands Department, and that his work as instructor has to be carried on during the night.

Mr G Little is well known at the Working Men’s College, on account of his success in the recent half-yearly examination, and those preceding them, At the midwinter examination he got two firsts and one second. A somewhat amusing incident took place on the occasion of the presentation of the prizes. The function was performed by the State Governor, who admiringly noted the fact that Gerald came round the second time for another prize. But when Gerald appeared for the third time His Excellency’s admiration found expression in the words -“ -Look here, my boy -“ you’re hot stuff!- Everybody predicted success for Gerald Little, and nobody is surprised -¦’

In 1913 Gerald was -‘-¦ at present surveying in the uncivilised quarters of the heath country near Portland. Gerald is doing well, and will this year sit for the licensed surveyor’s exam-¦’

Regarding his activities during the war, the College Annual of 1916-1917 noted that –

– -‘-¦ after his camp training was sent to Zeitoun, a town about 8 miles from the City of Cairo. Writing home he gives a very interesting account of this historic place. Gerald is now in France, and we need have no doubt but that the fine manly qualities which distinguished him at College will shine out in even greater brilliancy when he is fighting for the Empire in the trenches -¦’

Service No:- 2303

Rank:- – Lieutenant

Unit:- – 4th Divisional Engineers

Gerald enlisted on 13 July 1915, at the age of 25 years. He was a single man, six feet, one inch tall, with a fresh complexion, grey eyes and brown hair. His occupation was civil engineer and licenced surveyor.

He left Australia, proceeding via Egypt to France where he was wounded on three occasions. On 5 April 1917, the medical report issued about Lieutenant Little reveals that while at the Somme, he received shell wounds to his buttocks, back and his right leg. He underwent an amputation on his leg on the same day as he sustained the wound. One can only imagine the conditions under which this operation was carried out in the field.

He had to endure a second amputation around a week later, as the wound -‘flared up’ and he had to take to his bed. The report concluded by suggesting that -‘this officer is a fit case for return to Australia by Hospital Ship. He should travel as a cot case’.

On 12 December 1918, Lieutenant Little was awarded the Military Cross -“

-‘For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. He volunteered to assist in laying out trenches directly under the enemy’s fire, and made specially dangerous reconnaissances in daylight to inspect them. Later, when the line was attacked by overwhelming numbers, he collected some working parties and details, and organised them for defence as a support line, displaying throughout the greatest courage and resource, and setting a magnificent example to all ranks.’

Gerald Thompson Little returned to Australia in August 1918.

Gerald resumed his career as a civil engineer and surveyor in Melbourne. He married Kathleen Annie McCormack in 1921, at the age of 31 years. Together they had four children, all boys. The family lived at 30 Leslie Road in Essendon.

Gerald died on 17 December 1972, aged 82 years. He was buried at the Melbourne General Cemetery in Carlton.