Serial No. 29082
4th Field Artillery Brigade
Gerald Garling - Information
The Garlings resided in the Camden area between the 1870s and 1880s. They then relocated back to Sydney, to 107 Spencer Rd in Mosman. Gerald was born in Sydney in 1884, and was the youngest son of Clarence William, a bank manager, and Mary Katherine Garling. When Gerald was older, he held a Commission in the 3rd NSW Infantry Regiment in Orange, until he moved to a non-military district in 1907. He then gained employment as a bank accountant for the Bank of NSW in Temora. Gerald married, however, sadly, lost his young wife a few years later. The First World War would have a significant impact on the Garling family. In 1915, three of Gerald’s older brothers had joined up for war service. Leslie and Phillip Garling joined the AIF in June and July respectively. Gerald’s other older brother, Frederick Hubert, whom had been living in North Vancouver, British Columbia (Canada) with his wife Julia Gertrude, had joined the Canadian Expeditionary Force in September. At the age of 31, Gerald decided to also join the colours, and enlisted in the AIF on the 3rd of July 1916 at the Royal Showground Camp in Sydney. During training, Gerald was made a Gunner with the 1st Field Artillery Brigade. At the beginning of August, he was stationed to the 2nd Divisional Ammunition Column. A month later, he was a Sergeant with the 116th Howitzer Battery. Gerald said goodbye to his family steaming out of Sydney on the HMAT Aeneas on the 30th of September 1916.
Gerald disembarked in Plymouth in mid November. In England, he was appointed to permanent cadre in late December. Sadly, while he was undergoing specialised training on Western Front tactics, two of his brothers were killed in action. Frederick Hubert was killed on the 5th of May 1917, just after the Battle of Arras, where the Canadians distinguished themselves at Vimy Ridge. Leslie was killed in action during the Battle of Messines in Belgium, June 1917. On the 8th of August 1917, Gerald was shipped to France from Southampton. Upon arrival at the Australian General Base Depot in Rouelles, he reported sick. In January 1918, he was taken on strength to the 2nd Divisional Ammunition Column, then the 4th Field Artillery Brigade, 104th Battery. After the Germans launched their Spring Offensive in March, Artillery Units were pushed to the max. They had to continually move with changing positions as the Germans threatened to break through along most of the front. In late June, Gerald was transported to England to AIF Headquarters in London. From here, he was taken into the Reserve Brigade Australian Artillery in Heytesbury, where he trained future gunners. While in England, he became close with British local, Agnes Katherine Vallon. Gerald and Agnes then married at the Parish Church in Woolwich on the 28th of December 1918. After completing duty with AIF Headquarters, Gerald was sent back to Australia with his lovely wife Agnes in July 1919.
Gerald reunited with his family in Mosman, and introduced them to his new bride. By the 1930s, he was working in the Western Inspector’s Office for the Bank of NSW at 341 George St in Sydney.