DOBSON George Edward

 

About George Dobson

George was born in Summer Hill, Sydney in 1895 to Edward Gilbert & Catherine (nee Cross) Dobson. He was the first born child to the couple, who lived in Queensland and New South Wales, but by 1899 had settled in Western Australia.

 

Broome Rifle Club 1912. George Dobson is far left in the front row.

Broome Connection

In 1902 the family moved to Broome where they opened Dobson’s Store, which was located on the corner of corner of Hamersley and Frederick Streets and sold everything, from groceries to beer. The family were active in the community, often hosting garden parties and their children were involved in various clubs. George was a crack shot and the champion of the Broome Rifle Club.

Looking down onto Shell Green and the sea from the ridge immediately to the rear of Tasmania Post. Photo: Australian War Memorial.

War Service

George enlisted in Broome in November 1914 with a number of other Broome men, including William Telford, Charles Chandler, Cecil Rodgers and Cornelius Townsend, who were all assigned to the 11th Battalion. The 11th Battalion was among the first AIF units raised for World War One, and the first to be raised in Western Australia. The group left Broome by ship in late November and arrived at Blackboy Hill Camp by the end of the month. After training for a couple of months the embarkation orders came and George and his battalion left Fremantle aboard the HMAT Itonus, bound for Egypt on the 22nd February 1915.

The 11th Battalion had already left for the Lemnos Island so George and the rest of the 3rd Reinforcements bided their time in Egypt. After the advance in Gallipoli stalled the 3rd Reinforcements received their orders and travelled to the Dardanelles on the 7th May 1915. The 11th were situated at Tasmania Post along the ANZAC Cove. The conditions at the time were appalling, the battalion was under continuous shell fire and the men were suffering with enteric fever and diarrhea, made worse by the horrendous flies that swarmed in the trenches.

The battalion was sent to reserve for two weeks, but despite this there was no rest for the men, as they were needed to supply a large number of fatigue parties day and night. It was around the time that the 11th Battalion were sent back to Tasmania Post and orders were received to storm and capture a Turkish trench that George received a serious gun shot wound to his abdomen. After being admitted to the 1st Australian Casualty Clearing Station he was transferred to the hospital ship HMHA Sicilia, but died on the 30th July. George was buried at sea, but is memorialised on the Lone Pine Memorial, Gallipoli Peninsula, Canakkale Province, Turkey.

George was the second Broome man to be killed in action and the community of Broome rallied around the family.

Dear Mum,  I received your letter of March 21 a few days ago. We saw the (censored) she (censored) where we are most of the (censored). We are having a fair time; the tucker is better than it was in Egypt or at Blackboy. Do you get the money I left you?  I am .writing this in a hole about 5ft. in the ground. A great drawback to this place is water— we are lucky If we get a wash every two or three days.  Your loving son, Geo. Dobson.George Dobson to his mother, 29th May 1915

Dear Mum, I have met a lot of Broome men about here lately, and more seem to be arriving every day. Things have been very quiet about here lately. The last big attack we had was on on May 19. when the Turks came up in massed formation. They lost 2,000 killed and about 7,000 wounded. This is not a bad country to be out of. We are having a pretty fair time here now. We do a lot of growling, but they say it is a soldier’s privilege to growl, and there is not much notice taken of it. Your loving son, Geo. Dobson.George Dobson to his mother, 19th June 1915

Enlistment Details

Newspaper Articles

Other Online Resources

View George Dobson at the National Archives of Australia
View George Dobson at the Australian War Memorial
View ABC Kimberley Article on George Dobson

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