George Henry Painter Photographs Digitised @SLQ

Studio portrait of Private George Henry Painter, 1916

Studio portrait of Private George Henry Painter, 1916

Six photographic postcards relating to the war service of Private George Henry Painter have recently been digitised and now appear on our One Search catalogue.  The collection was kindly lent to us by a descendant and is one of 100 regional collections digitised for the QANZAC100: Memories for a New Generation project.

George Henry Painter was born in Warwick, Queensland, in 1896, being the son of William Henry Painter and Emily (nee Nunn).  His father died in 1911 and at the time of George's enlistment in January 1916, his mother had remarried and was living in Leichhardt, Sydney.  George enlisted in Brisbane when he was almost 19 and gave his occupation as labourer.

Studio portrait of George Henry Painter taken at Invicta Studios, Petersham, New South Wales, ca. 1916

Studio portrait of George Henry Painter taken at Invicta Studios, Petersham, New South Wales, ca. 1916

He embarked from Brisbane on board the HMAT A49 Seang Choon on the 4th May 1916.  George was initially stationed at the Rollestone Military Camp in Wiltshire, England, for training.  Several of the photographs were taken at Rollestone.

Private George Henry Painter with a group of soldiers at Rollestone Training Camp, Wiltshire, England, 1916. George is in the front row, far left.

Private George Henry Painter with a group of soldiers at Rollestone Training Camp, Wiltshire, England, 1916. George is in the front row, far left.

Reverse of postcard above from George Painter to his brother, Tom, and sister, Florrie, September 4th, 1916

Reverse of postcard above from George Painter to his brother, Tom, and sister, Florrie, September 4th, 1916

Group photograph of soldiers of the 25th Infantry Battalion at Rollestone training camp, England, 1916. George Painter is in the middle row, 2nd from the left.

Group photograph of soldiers of the 25th Infantry Battalion at Rollestone training camp, England, 1916. George Painter is in the middle row, 2nd from the left.

George joined the 25th Battalion in France in October 1916.  He did not have an easy war, being wounded in action four times.  On the 14th November 1916 he suffered a gunshot wound to the left hip during an attack on the German lines in the Flers region.  The attack was not successful and according to the unit diary casualties were in the order of 65% of soldiers in the ranks.  The men were 'not in good heart as a result of the exposure and hard times they had experienced in the preceding 10 days'.  France at this time was in the grip of a severe winter and conditions at the front were atrocious.  George was hospitalised and did not re-join his unit until February 1917.

By June 1917 he was suffering from trench fever and was transferred to the Bethnel Green Military Hospital in London.  After returning to active service in France in early October he suffered gas exposure in early November 1917 and was evacuated to England again for treatment.  George returned to France on the 4th March 1918 and was again wounded in action on the 23rd May with a shrapnel wound to the head.   On the 3rd October 1918 the 25th Battalion took part in a successful attack to break through the German defences around Beaurevoir which was part of the Hindenburg Line.  George received his fourth injury around this time with a shell wound to his left arm.  He was invalided back to England.   The 25th Battalion was disbanded nine days after this attack.

Private George Painter (right) with an unidentified soldier, 19 September 1916

Private George Painter (right) with an unidentified soldier, 19 September 1916

Private George Painter with a female friend, 1917

Private George Painter with a female friend, 1917

George returned to Australia on the H.T. Bakara, embarking on the 22nd December 1918.  Despite the numerous injuries he had endured during the war he returned to work as a labourer in Warwick, Queensland.  In February 1932 he married Florence Isabel Upstill and in the 1936 Queensland Electoral Roll is listed as a farmer at Ducklo near Dalby.  He died on the 25th July 1965 at the age of 69.

The George Henry Painter Photographs may be viewed at: http://hdl.handle.net/10462/eadarc/8339

Lynn Meyers, QANZAC 100 Content Curator

 

 

 

Comments

We welcome relevant, respectful comments.
Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.
We also welcome direct feedback via Contact Us.
You may also want to ask our librarians.

Be the first to write a comment