Stories of Remembrance

Army, First World War (1914-18)George Hercus Johnson,

He travelled to France, England and Belgium and through all the chaos, horrors and hardships he continued to fight for his country, Australia.
James Silver, St Monica's College, Epping

George Hercus Johnson joined the AIF on 28 July 1916 in Narrabri, NSW. He departed our shores on 17 October 1916, aboard the HMAT Borda (A30). He faced many conflicts during his time at war, across the trenches of the Western Front. He travelled to France, England and Belgium and through all the chaos, horrors and hardships he continued to fight for his country, Australia. George died a tragic death in a trench in Belgium. He was sheltering in a hole which he had dug into the wall of the trench when a shell was thrown right on him, killing him instantly. One of his fellow allied soldiers who saw his death described it: "I was about 10yds away from Hercus when I saw a shell lob in the shell hole where he was sheltering. Boots and articles of clothing were thrown all over the place. There was nothing left to bury." - Thom. G. 34th Battalion. Since no part of George could be found to bury, his name is engraved among the tens of thousands at the Menin Gate in Ypres, Belgium. It is because of men like Hercus, men who gave their lives for their country, that I am proud to call myself Australian.

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