Albert and Ellen Thompson lived at 3 Dibbs St Millers Point with their eight children, two daughters-in-law, and two grandchildren. Three of the boys enlisted in 1915; Wilmore and the married sons George and James.
The youngest, Wilmore, enlisted aged 18 on 17 February 1915. His brother James, 26, followed a week later and went to the same unit. James had previously served 3 years in the Irish Rifles, and was quickly promoted to Corporal.
James and his wife Mary had two young children, Ellen 5 and Albert 3. Mary’s brother, Thomas Garland, was married to one of James’ sisters, and he also served.
Wilmore and James arrived at Gallipoli on the 8th August 1915. Within two weeks both were injured in the Battle of Lone Pine. Wilmore suffered a “Poisoned Arm” and James a gunshot wound to his arm and leg, and they were evacuated. Wilmore rejoined his unit in France in March 1916, but James was sent home and discharged as medically unfit.
George enlisted on 20 July 1915 and left his pregnant wife with his parents. He joined his brother Wilmore in France in June 1916 where both were engaged in the Battle of Pozières. Wilmore was Missing in Action on 4 August 1916 and George was wounded on the 13th, two of the 23,000 Australian Imperial Force casualties at Pozières. More than two months later, although no body was recovered, Wilmore was declared Killed in Action.
George was evacuated to England with shrapnel wounds to his left side. While recuperating he was given detention for being absent without leave and further detention for disobeying an order to return to camp, and for loitering. He rejoined his unit in December and was nevertheless promoted to Lance Corporal in March 1917.
On 11 April 1917, George was reported Missing in Action at the Battle of Bullecourt in which the AIF suffered over 3000 casualties and 1,170 captured. George’s body was never found and he was confirmed Killed in Action 6 months later. Sadly, he was never to see his baby son, also named George.
Lest We Forget