Pte
George Frederick Reynolds

Information about birth

Year of birth:
1898
Place of birth:
Echuca, Victoria, Australia

General information

Profession:
Farmer Labourer

Army information

Country:
Australia
Force:
Australian Imperial Force
Rank:
Private
Service number:
6549
Enlistment date:
25/08/1916
Enlistment place:
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Units:
 —  Australian Infantry, 6th Bn.  (Last known unit)

Information about death

Date of death:
04/10/1917
Place of death:
Celtic Wood, Zonnebeke, Belgium
Cause of death:
Killed in action (K.I.A.)
Age:
19

Memorial

Distinctions and medals 2

Points of interest 3

#1 Place of birth
#2 Enlistment place
#3 ‘Place of death’

My story

Private George Frederick Reynolds was born in 1898 to Mr. George Reynolds and Mrs. Henrietta Reynolds at Echuca, Victoria, Australia. Then 18-year old, George was a farm labourer at the time of enlistment. On the 25th of August 1916 he enlisted at Melbourne and embarked on the HMAT Nestor A71 on the 2nd of October 1916. He would serve in the 6th Australian Infantry Battalion (2nd Australian Brigade, 1st Australian Division).
The 1st Australian Division participated in the Battle of Broodseinde, a phase of the Third Battle of Ypres. The Division had to advance on the right of the village of Zonnebeke and had to capture and secure the Broodseinde Ridge and a part of the Passchendaele-Beselare Road. Its attack was carried by two Brigades. The 1st Australian Brigade and 2nd Australian Brigade. The 2nd Australian Brigade firstly attacked with the 8th Battalion. Once they had captured the first objective the 6th and 7th Battalions would move through to the second objective.
The 6th battalion moved into position at about 02.00 a.m. While the Battalion was waiting till the sign to attack the German artillery laid down a very heavy barrage on the line. Many Australians were caught in the open and the Battalions in the line suffered heavy casualties. The German shelling did not indicate any pre-knowledge of an Australian attack, but was a precursor to a German attack that was due to commence coincidentally with the Australian attack. When the German infantry attacked they were caught in the allied barrage, which preceded the Australian assault. The barrage drove everything beyond it, inflicting very heavy casualties on the German defenders. The German soldiers had almost no place to hide. The ones that did survive the heavy shelling were quickly dispersed, killed or taken prisoner by the advancing troops. Even the Germans in the concrete strongpoints were utterly shocked. Most of them surrendered without putting up a fight.
The main resistance of the 6th Battalion’s advance came from a large crater, near Retaliation Farm, in which a pill-box was situated. This position supported by other nearby posts. Bombing parties of the 6th Battalion quickly outflanked the positions and eventually managed to silence or capture the defenders.
Meanwhile the 8th Battalion had advanced through the marsh and tree stumps of Romulus and Remus Woods, north of the hamlet of Molenaarelsthoek. They arrived at the first objective, the red line, around 07.15 a.m.
Around 08.00 a.m. the 7th and 6th Battalions moved through the 8th Battalion and carried on the advance. They quickly captured the summit of the ridge. While passing west of Celtic Wood, the 6th Battalion was now fired upon from distant machine gun positions on the Keiberg. At one stage the advance on Celtic Wood was halted by a German strongpoint. It was silenced by a Lewis gun team and by noon, the Australians had consolidated their positions astride the ridge.
No counter-attacks were launched and the battalion kept on holding the line till they were relieved on the next day.
The final resting place of his body remains, to this day, unknown. He is commemorated on panel 7 of the Menin Gate Memorial at Ypres.

Files 1

Sources 8

"As Rough As Bags, the History of the 6th Battalion, 1st AIF, 1914-1919", Austin R.J., A Slouch Hat Publications,sd
Sources used
AIF Project
https://www.aif.adfa.edu.au/showPerson?pid=253181&printFormat=print
Sources used
Ancestry
https://www.ancestry.co.uk/
Sources used
Australian War Memorial
https://www.awm.gov.au/advanced-search/people?people_preferred_name=george+frederick+reynolds&people_service_number=6549&people_unit=
Sources used
CWGC
https://www.cwgc.org/find-records/find-war-dead/casualty-details/1600687/george-frederick-reynolds/
Sources used
National Archives of Australia
https://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetrieve/Interface/DetailsReports/ItemDetail.aspx?Barcode=8029225&isAv=N
Sources used
The Long, Long Trail
https://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/
Sources used
War Diary, 6th Bn. Australian Infantry
https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/C1346444
Sources used