Indigenous Australian, George FOSTER, 49th Infantry Battalion.
George FOSTER was born in Bollon, Qld in July 1884 and was working as a station hand when he volunteered to serve with the first AIF in May 1917. He nominated his brother Herbert as his next of kin.
Initially selected to serve with the Light Horse, men were badly needed to reinforce the troops in northern France, and subsequently was allotted to reinforce the 49th Infantry Battalion.
He travelled from Mitchell to Enoggera, where he trained for several months before embarking for the United Kingdom in August 1917. His ship HMAT Medic sailed via Halifax, Nova Scotia and the troops were transferred to the S.S. Orissa, landing at the port of Liverpool early in October 1917.
Foster was hospitalized with Influenza when he arrived at the 13th Training Battalion, Codford. He did not join his unit in France until April 1918 after arriving at the Australian Infantry Depot at Havre.
The 49th Infantry Battalion were operating out of Querrieu, in the north of France relieving other battalions in the front line. Just prior to the armistice George Foster was hospitalized with Bronchitis but rejoined his unit two weeks later.
After peace was declared the 49th Battalion remained in northern France for some months, George Foster was briefly detailed to the Ammunition Dump Guard at Dinant, a city that had suffered horribly at the hands of the enemy.
George Foster returned to his home in July 1919 and married Mabel George in 1920.
Read more …
- Service record: FOSTER, George
- Embarkation roll: 10th Reinf. 49th Battalion
- Unit diaries: 49th Infantry Battalion
- Battle of Dinant [wikipedia]
- Blog: Gunggari soldier of WW1
- Image: The Queenslander Pictorial, 15 September 1917
- One of the soldiers featured in SLQ’s HistoryPin Collection
- View the whole Collection: Indigenous enlistment
- Queensland’s Indigenous Servicemen Digital Story and Oral History
Marg Powell & Des Crump | QANZAC100, State Library of Queensland