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George Alwyn Freeburn


Serial No:
Serial No. 2653

54th Battalion


George Alwyn Freeburn - Information

George Alwyn Freeburn was born and raised in Luddenham. When he was older, he served three years in the Light Horse and began working as a labourer. When he was 23, George decided to enlist in the AIF, signing on at the Royal Australian Showground Camp on the 7th of June 1916. George commenced training at the Dubbo Depot and then at Bathurst Depot, joining Reginald Freeburn, a relative. Here, they were posted as Privates to the 6th Reinforcements, 54th Battalion. They then embarked Sydney on the HMAT Ceramic on the 7th of October 1916.

Landing in Plymouth in late November, they undertook further instruction before proceeding to France just before Christmas. When George joined his unit in early February 1917, he realised that the actual war was not all heroics and romantic uniforms like in the books he read. He subsequently deserted, going AWL from the 8th of May until the 25th of July when he was apprehended by Military Police. On the 12th of August, he was brought before a Field General Court Martial. He was found guilty of desertion and sentenced to 1 year imprisonment at hard labour. By the end of September, he commenced serving his sentence in a Military Prison in France. Just before his sentence was up, it was suspended in mid August 1918. A week later, he reported to hospital with pleurisy. He was then invalided to the UK, to the 1st Birmingham War Hospital. During his recuperation, the war ended. He returned home to Australia in May 1919, and was discharged in December.