ANZAC Centenary 2014-2018: Sharing Victoria's Stories

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WWI Stories – Private George Gay

Jacqueline Dinan shares the story of her great-grandfather, Private George Gay.

George was a member of the 52nd infantry of the militia before he enlisted in the AIF at the age of 22 and joined the 5th battalion. In October 1914 he embarked on HMAT Orvieto. George served at Gallipoli. On the 25 of April he was wounded, receiving gunshot wounds to his shoulder and wrist. On 1 May he was admitted to hospital in Alexandria, Egypt and by June he had been transferred to a convalescent camp in Mustafa. Classified as medically unfit, in early August he embarked for Australia aboard HS Ballarat.

On 21 June 1916 he was discharged from the AIF. George married and had three sons. George sadly passed away in 1935 at the age of 43.

The photo shows my great-grandfather on the right. His arm is in a sling after he was wounded in the left shoulder during the landing at Gallipoli. He stands with a member of one of the British Royal Marine Light Infantry battalions of the Royal Naval Division.

According to war historian Dr Peter Stanley this photo could have been taken on Imbros or Lemnos – the Greek island bases for the Gallipoli force.

George Gay