George Bett

From Our Contribution

Bett George.jpg
Courtesy Ted Bett
Personal Information
Date of Birth 4 Jun 1888
Place of Birth Denny, Stirlingshire, Scotland
Death 5 Jan 1965, aged 76
Place of Death Armadale Hospital, Western Australia
Age at Enlistment 27 years old
Description 5'2½" (1.59 m) tall; weight 130 lbs (59 kg); dark complexion, brown eyes, brown hair.
Occupation carpenter
Religion Presbyterian
Address Waroona, Western Australia
Next of Kin Sister Mrs Agnes Stevenson
Military Information
Reg Number 1214 & W67655
Date of Enlistment 20 Jul 1915
Rank Private
Unit/Formation 32nd Battalion , D Company, transferred to 53rd Battery, 14th Field Artillery Brigade
Date of Embarkation 18 Nov 1915
Ship Embarked On HMAT A2 Geelong
Date of Return 21 Jun 1919 - 2 Aug 1919
Ship Returned On SS Königin Luise
Fate Wounded in Action 22 Aug 1918
Returned to Australia
Monument not known
Medals 1914-15 Star
British War Medal
Victory Medal

Pre War

1916 Electoral Roll entry - Living in Waroona, Western Australia at the time of his enlistment.

War Service

On entering camp he was allocated to 'D 'Coy 32nd Battalion which came into being on 9 Aug 1915. Following basic training he was sent to South Australia with the rest of 'C' & 'D' Companies to join with the South Australian companies.

On 18 Nov 1915 they embarked on the HMAT A2 Geelong at Port Adelaide and sailed for Port Suez, arriving there at 5am on 14 December. Disembarked on the 18th, and proceeded to Moascar camp by train, arriving at 10:30am.

December and most of January were spent at El Ferdan camp, north of Ismailia on the Suez Canal. On 6 Feb 1916 the battalion travelled by train to Tel-el-Kebir where they continued their training while major changes to the Army's formations were occurring with the development of two further Divisions, the 3rd and 4th in Egypt and one, the 5th in England. As part of these momentous changes, George was transferred on 15 Mar 1916 to the 14th Field Artillery Brigade, 5th Division, and allocated to the 53rd Battery.(Other batteries in the Brigade with the 53rd were the 54th, 55th, and the 114th which replaced the 56th on arrival in France).

On 1 Jun 1916 a visit to hospital while still in Egypt in recorded but no duration or illness is recorded.

On 19 Jun 1916 the battery sailed from Alexandria on the HMT Georgian, arriving in Marseilles on 27 Jun 1917. From here they made their way to Le Have on the northern French coast, and on 7 Jul 1916 the battery left Le Havre by train for Steenbecque from where they marched to Blaringhem. On 12 Jul 1916 near Steenwerck they took over from others the role of providing artillery support to front line units.

The next entry in George's record is for leave from 21 Apr to 5 May 1917 - probably to England. Two days after his return, he reported to the 33rd Field Ambulance, who sent him on to the 9th Casualty Clearing Station, and from there on 14 May he was placed on an Ambulance Train for the 51st General Hospital in Étaples. Admitted on the 16th he was not released until 10 Jul 1917. Total Venereal Disease period 65 days. He rejoined his battery on 18 Jul 1917.

On 29 Jan 1918 he was remustered as Fitter, and from 20 Feb to 9 Mar 1918 he enjoyed another leave in England.

While George's records show that on 22 Aug 1918 he was wounded, the War Diary for the 14th Brigade has it recorded as happening on the 21st. Never-the-less he received a shrapnel wound to his neck and was seen on the 22nd by the 8th Field Ambulance, and the 5th Casualty Clearing Station before being admitted to the 6th General Hospital in Rouen on 24 Aug 1918. The injury must have been minor as he was released two days later to No. 2 Command Depot.

On 7 Oct 1918 he rejoined his battery near Ramicourt as it went into reserve. On 13 Oct 1918 five men were injured when a bomb was dropped on the battery. On the 17th, at Busingy they fired in support of the 30th US Infantry Division's attack. For the next three days they fired in support of US Units, none of whom attained their objectives. During the night of 18 Oct the British 2nd Brigade replaced the US troops. (By this time all Australian Infantry units had been withdrawn from the line due to exhaustion after having been used as shock troops since they halted the Germans in April).

The 14th Field Artillery Brigade's final action was to the north east of Montbrehain, France, just below the border with Belgium. On 23 Jan 1919 George enjoyed a third leave period in England, before rejoining his unit in France on 12 Feb 1919. On 1 Apr 1919 he embarked in Le Havre for Weymouth in England to begin the journey home, where he was discharged by the 5th Military District on 25 Sep 1919.

Post War

In 1926 at Northam George married Katherine Mary Joseph Kelly. Children Edward (1927 - 2019) and Alec. Kathleen died 18 Sep 1977, aged 86.

Electoral Roll entries - 1925 - Wellstrand farm, Mundijong, farmer, remaining there until his death in 1965.

WW 2

During WW2 George enlisted in the militia at Armadale (medical was conducted at Maddington) with Reg No W67655 on 22 Mar 1942 and served in No 2 Platoon of 'D' Company, 2nd (Fremantle) VDC Battalion. His date of discharge was 7 Feb 1944


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