George Henry Buckley
Buckley, Private George Henry no.3756
20th Battalion 9th Reinforcements.
c/- Mrs M. Rankin, “Balgowie” Oswald Street, Campsie.
Born Northwich, Cheshire, England.
Educated County School, Northwich. Came to Australia aged 22.
Enlisted at Sydney 29/10/1915, aged 23.
Embarked from Sydney 20/1/1916 per HMAT A54 Runic.
Killed in action at Pozieres 5/8/1916, aged 24 years.
Memorial: Villers-Bretonneux Memorial.
AWM File IDRL 428: Letters to Red Cross re Australian Servicemen: [The file contains a series of misleading stories about sightings of the soldier at Fricourt, and in hospital at Etaples]
Private J. Ready no.2894 20th Australians A Company, no.2 General Hospital, Quai, 6/12/ 1916: I knew Buckley personally. He enlisted in Australia but originally came from England He was blown up by a shell on the night of the 5th August at Pozieres in No Man's Land. The body was cut in two but afterwards was buried out there. I did not see this myself but he was reported officially killed.
Private L.J. Hallett no.876, H.S. “Newhaven” Calais 9/12/1916: At Pozieres on 5th July [i.e. August] during a raid a shell hit him and blew one side of his face away and his arm off. I saw him being carried away on a stretcher. I cannot say where he was buried He came from Sydney. He was medium build, dark, clean shaven, about 26. I knew him well.
D. Brown no.332 20th AIF A Company, no.2 General Hospital, Quai: There are two brothers in A Company and one is now home wounded The other one was wounded in the second line of trenches we took at Pozieres. He was lying out on the parapet for an hour until the stretcher bearers could take him when a shell came and covered him up. When he was dug out he was dead I saw all this.
Letter from relatives:
C/o Mrs Moreton, Lake House, Weaverham, nr Northwich Dear Sir, Could you kindly give us any further information as to the whereabouts of Private George Henry Buckley no.3756 A Company 20th Battalion 5 Brigade Australian Imperial Forces BEF France, who was reported wounded on the 5th August, and the nature of the wound, and the hospital to where he has been sent for treatment, has not been notified. If you could kindly give us any information whatever, we shall be much obliged Yours faithfully,
Emily Clarke Received 22 September 1916.
The Red Cross reported to his brother that he was not on any hospital lists. His name has not come through in any of the lists as a prisoner of war.
16/12/1916, Letter from Red Cross: An unofficial report has been received from a man in his Battalion...He was killed instantly by a shell on the night of August 5th at Pozieres in No Man’s Land His body was afterwards buried out there. We fear that this sad report must be correct, as such a long time has elapsed since he was reported wounded. We are still making enquiries in the hope of something more definite about his fate and should any such reports be received we shall at once communicate with you, as we know how much you will appreciate all that we can tell you. With sincere sympathy...
Reply from brother, Private A. Buckley no.3755 20th Battalion AIF C Company Group 1, Hut B4 Worgret Camp, Wareham, Dorset: Dear Sir, I feel very grateful to you for the trouble in finding out about my brother Private G.H. Buckley no.3756 20th Battalion AIF, but I was extremely sorry to receive the sad report about him but it has been very strange concerning his whereabouts but any news about him it does relieve the suspense of mind, but I have had no report officially of him being killed in action but will thank you very much for any further news concerning him. Both of us originally belong to England & joined up together in Sydney NSW and have been together ever since then. I was wounded on August 4th that night was the last I ever saw or heard anything about him and it is not very pleasant or gratifying to know that he is no more for we were very close and intimate to one another and he was a firm friend for I think I shall be going to France again before long. Thanking you for your kindness and I will be pleased to have any more news from you and hope you will find more definite news about him before long. Yours faithfully. Private A. Buckley.
Private G.H. Buckley was officially reported killed in action on 11/10/1917.
Information to Australian War Memorial from father: William Buckley, 36 High Street, Weaverham, Cheshire. Other information from Arthur Buckley, “Westmeath” Beamish Street, Campsie.
Tele/Mirror list 11/11/1993 Killed in Action 5/8/1916.
Roll of Honour, Canterbury District Anzac Memorial.
Australian War Memorial record available at: https://www.awm.gov.au/people/rolls/R1980732/ [accessed 19/08/2016].
The primary source of the information on this page is copied from the prize winning publication Canterbury's boys : World War I & Sydney's suburban fringe. This book is the culmination of 12 years (1988-2000) research by a team of volunteers from the Canterbury and District Historical Society led by Dr Lesley Muir. Without this team's effort and dedication and the Society's willingness and support, this information would not be available today.
An uneditable version of the book Canterbury's boys : World War I & Sydney's suburban fringe is in the eBook section of this wiki. In the main section, there is an alphabetical list of the 1,911 individuals recorded in the book - the list is titled Canterbury's Boys List. Each name in the list is linked to an editable biographical file created by copying the biography copied from the book. These editable biographies have been created to provide the space for descendants, historians, researchers, etc to add information, photographs, newspaper articles, memories, etc. they have discovered so it is available for this and future generations.
Canterbury's boys : World War I & Sydney's suburban fringe. Edited by Lesley Muir. Campsie, N.S.W. : Canterbury and District Historical Society, 2002