George Albert French
George Albert French (Regimental No 1933) was born at Tenterfield,
NSW on 26th October
1892. His parents moved to Kooroongarra near Millmerran on the Darling Downs about 1910, having drawn
a small 40 acre block.
Prior to his enlistment in the 11th Light Horse Regiment at Toowoomba on 22nd November 1916, he had been a member of the Darling Downs 3rd Light Horse Troop at Warwick for a period of three years, riding from Kooroongarra to Warwick at weekends to participate.
His Unit, as reinforcements for the Camel Corps, embarked at Sydney on 3rd February 1917 on RMS “Karmala’, arriving at Suez on 11th March 1917. Following his overseas service in the
desert campaign, mainly with the 3rd Light Horse Brigade Headquarters, he returned on the S.S. ‘Oxfordshire’, arriving Sydney on 10th July 1919; he was discharged on 25th September 1919.
George French returned to his farming property at Mt Emlyn in the Millmerran district which he worked in conjunction with his brother, Percy, who had looked after the property during his absence overseas.
On 18th February 1921 he married Miss Elizabeth M. Hiddleston at the Wilston Presbyterian Church in Brisbane. They had a family of three, one daughter and two sons.
Early in the 1930’s, the 11th Light Horse Regiment formed a Troop at Millmerran and George French immediately joined. In July 1931 the Millmerran Show Society organised a sports meeting and members of the Light Horse Troop agreed to an invitation to participate. During the emergency drill race, Tpr French and another horseman collided. The other rider was not injured, but Tpr French was knocked unconscious from the impact and died at the Toowoomba General Hospital two days later. His funeral service took place at Toowoomba (Drayton) Cemetery.
Later a Memorial Service was held in Millmerran at the Lavelle Hall as a mark of respect. In Attendance was Col P.J. Bailey, DSO, VD and Order of the Nile, Commanding Officer of the 11th Light Horse Regiment overseas from January to June 1918 and then again from October 1918 to Demobilisation in 1919. He was accompanied by his wife at the Service. After the war, Col Bailey himself had purchased a property, “Glenferrie” in the Millmerran district.
Compiled by Tpr French’s daughter, Mrs Joan W.M. Rogers.
|Date of birth||26 October 1892|
|Place of birth||Tenterfield, New South Wales|
|School||Tenterfield, New South Wales|
|Age at embarkation||24|
|Next of kin||Mother, Mrs Elizabeth French, Northcott, Koorongarra, Millmerran, Queensland|
|Enlistment date||22 November 1916|
|Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll||22 November 1916|
|Rank on enlistment||Private|
|Unit name||January 1917 Reinforcements Camel Corps|
|AWM Embarkation Roll number||11/14/1|
|Embarkation details||Unit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board RMS Karmala on 3 February 1917|
|Rank from Nominal Roll||Sergeant|
|Unit from Nominal Roll||3rd Light Horse Brigade Headquarters|
|Returned to Australia 10 July 1919|