Pte
George Edward Russell

Information about birth

Year of birth:
1883
Place of birth:
Catford, Greater London, England, United Kingdom

General information

Last known residence:
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Profession:
Painter
Religion:
Church of England

Army information

Country:
Australia
Force:
Australian Imperial Force
Rank:
Private
Service number:
283
Enlistment date:
24/08/1914
Enlistment place:
Albert Park, Victoria, Australia
Units:
 —  Australian Infantry, 5th Bn.  (Last known unit)

Information about death

Date of death:
04/10/1917
Place of death:
Retaliation Farm, Zonnebeke, Belgium
Cause of death:
Killed in action (K.I.A.)
Age:
34

Cemetery

Passchendaele New British Cemetery
Plot: XIII
Row: C
Grave: 5

Distinctions and medals 2

Points of interest 4

#1 Place of birth
#2 Last known residence
#3 Enlistment place
#4 ‘Place of death’

My story

George Edward Russell, a former painter, was born in November 1883 in South London, England. He was the son of Mrs. Elizabeth Russell. On August 24, 1914 he enlisted in Albert Park, Victoria, Australia and embarked from Melbourne on board Transport A3 Orvieto on October 21, 1914, with the 5th Battalion, part of the 2nd Australian Brigade of the 1st Australian Division. In July 1916 he got wounded in action (bomb wounds left leg and left thigh) in France.

On the 4th of October, the Battle of Broodseinde was fought. The 2nd Australian Infantry Brigade carried out a mission, with the goal to capture the positions of the enemy as far as the Line Celtic (D.29.d.40.45. to D.29.b.10.60.). The objectives were the red and blue line. The 8th Bn. A.I.F. had to get to the red line, the 6th and 7th Bn. A.I.F. had to reach the blue line. The 5th Bn. A.I.F. was in reserve. At midnight on the night of October 3 and 4, the locations of the various units were as followed: the Brigade headquarters were located at Westhoek Ridge (J1.d.75.10), the 5th Bn. A.I.F. was positioned at the Front Line, with headquarters at J.7.b.6.5., the 6th Bn. A.I.F. was located at Westhoek Ridge, with headquarters at J.7.b.6.8., the 7th Bn. A.I.F. found itself at Westhoek Ridge, with headquarters at J.7.b.5.5. and the 8th Bn. A.I.F. was positioned at Anzac Ridge with headquarters at J.9.a.6.5. The 8th Bn. A.I.F. reached the red line at 6.30 a.m. and advanced 100 yards beyond, to a position of better command and out of the enemy’s barrage, just behind and parallel to the Becelaere-Broodseinde Road, with points of the line touching the road. A hostile Battery was in position on this road just in front of the Line, but they were captured. The red line was consolidated by 7.30 a.m. The blue line was also captured and consolidated. Throughout the day and during the following night, the enemy’s shelling continued to be very severe over the whole captured area, on the old front line and in the valley rear thereof.

George Edward, aged 23, was killed in action on October 4, 1917. Private Russell was initially buried where he fell, near Retaliation Farm, Zonnebeke (28.D.28.c.80.40). His remains were exhumed and interred at Passchendaele New British Cemetery, Plot 13, Row C, Grave 5.

Sources 4

2nd Brigade Australian Infantry (Australian War Memorial, Campbell (AWM), AWM4 23/2/30).
https://www.awm.gov.au/
Sources used
5th Battalion Australian Infantry (Australian War Memorial, Campbell (AWM), AWM4 23/22/32).
https://www.awm.gov.au/
Sources used
First Australian Imperial Force Personnel Dossiers, 1914-1920 (National Archives of Australia, Canberra (NAA), B2455).
https://www.naa.gov.au/
Sources used
Unit embarkation nominal rolls, 1914-18 War (Australian War Memorial, Campbell (AWM), AWM8).
https://www.awm.gov.au/
Sources used

More information 4