George Robert AITKEN #2367
Indigenous Australian, George AITKEN, 52nd Infantry Battalion
George Robert AITKEN, was born on Walloon Station, via Taroom, Qld in 1894. His birth parents were Princess Carlo, of Barambah Station & George Richard Aitken, manager Cania Diggings, Eidsvold. His adoptive parents were Thomas & Mary (Lily) Hampson, who resided in Eidsvold.
George Aitken was a stockman when he enlisted 5 May 1916 at Cloncurry, along with his adoptive brother Denis Hampson in May 1916; they were both allotted to the 52nd Infantry Battalion and embarked from Brisbane on board HMAT Seang Choon 19 September 1916. While training in England, George was arrested for failing to obey an order and sentenced to 12 months imprisonment. George was released early in June 1917 after which he joined the 52nd Infantry Battalion in Belgium.
George was killed at Tokio Ridge east of Ypres, during the Battle of Broodseinde, part of the Battle of Passchendaele, 19 October 1917. George’s adoptive mother died the same day he was killed, so there were no requests to the Red Cross Missing and Wounded Bureau, to find out where and when he died. We now know, that men were buried where they fell during this operation, there is no marked grave.
George Aitken’s name is recorded on the wall of honour at the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, France and panel 154 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial.
Denis Hampson, who was later transferred to the 47th Infantry Battalion, was taken prisoner of war by the Germans in October 1917, and was repatriated first to England and then Australia at the end of the war.
Read more ...
- Service record: AITKEN, George Robert
- Service record: HAMPSON, Denis
- AWM: Unit Diary 52nd Infantry Battalion
- Roll of Honour
- 'Menin Gate North: In Memory and In Mourning' by Paul Chapman, 2016
- Commonwealth War Graves Commission
- Image: The Queenslander Pictorial, 14 October 1916
- One of the soldiers featured in SLQ’s HistoryPin Collection
- View the whole Collection: Indigenous enlistment
- Queensland’s Indigenous Servicemen Digital Story and Oral History
The information in this blog post has been researched by State Library staff and volunteers, it is based on available information at this time. If you have more information that you would like to share or further research uncovers new findings, this post will be updated.