George Mouatt Dow
photo courtesy Samuel Hancock
George's headstone in the Underhill Farm Cemetery
|Date of Birth||17 Jan 1894|
|Place of Birth||Indooroopilly, Queensland|
|Death||16 Jul 1917|
|Place of Death||Messines, Belgium|
|Age at Enlistment||22 years, 9 months|
5'5" (1.65m) tall ; 116 lbs|
52.617 kg; fresh complexion ; grey eyes ; fair hair
|Address||West Armadale, Western Australia|
|Next of Kin||Father , Mr George Mouatt Dow (Snr)|
|Date of Enlistment||15 Oct 1916|
|Unit/Formation||46th Battalion, 8th reinforcements|
|Date of Embarkation||29 Dec 1916 ‒ 3 Mar 1917|
|Ship Embarked On||HMAT A34 Persic Fremantle to Devonport|
|Fate||Killed in action 16 Jul 1917 at Hill 63, Messines, Belgium|
Armadale War Memorial West Armadale panel |
Armadale and Districts Roll of Honour
Australian War Memorial
British War Medal |
George had spent 4 years apprenticed to his father as a pastry cook, and 4 years as a member of the militia unit 22nd Australian Service Company.
Completed basic training only in WA before leaving for England where more advanced training was to be carried out.
On arrival at Devonport in England, George was sent to 12th Training Battalion at Codford's No. 14 camp for 2 months before travelling to France from Southampton arriving there on 29 May 1917.
Spent the best part of a month in the 4th Division's Base Depot before joining the 46th Battalion on 21 Jun 1917 at Doullieu west of Armentiès where it was resting and rebuilding, along with 92 other reinforcements.
On the night of July 16/17, Hill 63, where the 46th Battalion were in the front lines, was heavily shelled for 4½ hours with gas shells, shrapnel and high explosives causing very few casualties. It follows that George was one of the 12 killed as no other action is mentioned in the 46th Battalion's War Diary for that day.
Red Cross file . witness statement by Cpl JPL Kenny
"I saw him killed on the Messines Ridge on Sunday night July 15th by a piece of shell. He was on fatigue work at the time, bringing up supplies to the front line. He had been under constant heavy fire for about four hours and was on his last trip when he got hit. He was given first aid and put on a stretcher to be taken to the Dressing Station, but died on his way down. He was buried at 11:00am the following morning in the Australian cemetery at the foot of Hill 63. The Rev Father Devine buried him. A cross was erected with his name and particulars on."
[If this is correct, than George died on the 16th of Wounds received the previous day, rather than KIA 16th.]
Private J Barnes was another who saw him injured
"He was in A Company. We were in the trenches on fatigue duty on July 16th (1917) at Hill 63. A shell came right into the trenches. Dow was badly wounded. I saw him carried away on a stretcher to the Dressing Station. I heard that he died an hour afterwards. I think he was buried at the cemetery at Hill 63. I knew Dow well, He was rather short, dark, clean shaven. He came from Western Australia. I think he was a baker.
The Drill of the Foothills mentioned him in its 1917 Feb-Mar edition, but gave no details.
Buried in UNDERHILL FARM CEMETERY - Plot 1, Row "B", Grave 19. "Son of George Mouatt Dow and Margaret Lind Dow, of Seventh Road, Armadale, Western Australia. Native of Queensland." (The cemetery is about 1.5 km north of Ploegsteert, and 3 kms Southwest of Messines.)
George's mother Margaret was granted a War Pension of 40/- per fortnight from 28 Sep 1917.
- "Australian Red Cross Wounded and Missing Files - George Mouatt Dow". Australian War Memorial. 2018. Retrieved 2 May 2018.