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George Griffen Roy Mills


Serial No:
Serial No. 6417

17th Battalion

Mt Hunter

George Griffen Roy Mills - Information

George’s family had lived in the Camden area for some time. His grandfather, also George, had settled in the area in the 1850s. His parents William and Sarah Ann then married in Picton on the 21st of January 1894.  William and Sarah resided in Camden, and commenced their large family. George Griffen was their second child, born in Camden on the 14th of March 1897. George and his siblings grew up in the area attending school in Mt Hunter. When George was older, he began working as a farmer. He then decided to join his mates and serve overseas. He enlisted in the AIF at the Royal Australian Showground Camp on the 23rd of October 1916. He trained there, and was assigned to the 18th Reinforcements, 17th Battalion as a Private. Boarding the HMAT Suevic in Sydney, he set off on the 11th of November 1916.

George disembarked in Devonport, England in late January 1917. As soon as he was off the ship, he was admitted to the 4th Southern General Hospital with the mumps. By mid March, he was undergoing instruction at the 5th Training Battalion. In May, he left Folkestone for France, joining the 17th Battalion in the field. During operations in the Third Battle of Ypres, George was wounded on the 20th of September 1917. He was hit in the back by shrapnel, a mild injury, he returned to his unit a week later. After the capture of Passchendaele, operations at Ypres came to a close. The men had to hunker down for another terrible winter in the trenches. In the new year, the Allies got a surprise when the Germans broke through the lines with their Spring Offensive in March. The Australian Corps was resting out of the lines following operations in Belgium, and were mustered to plug the gaps. George was then wounded a second time on the 14th of April 1918. According to a witness from his unit, Ingleburn local George Byram, George Griffen went out on a salvage mission at the time with a small party. They went to the village of Cachy to get timber to build a dugout, when the Germans started shelling. Caught in a blast, he received multiple shrapnel wounds to his back and arms. George was rushed to the 41st Casualty Clearing Station, but later died of his wounds on the 16th of April. He was buried at Namps-au-Val British Cemetery in France, near Amiens. His family in Camden were informed of their terrible loss. To add to their grief, George’s effects were then lost at sea on the SS Barrunga. George’s death was recorded in the local newspaper, thus highlighting another loss to the area.