The Australian Boer War Memorial
Anzac Parade Canberra

 
 
Sergeant Major (later Captain) George Williams

Ancestor Details

Name of Ancestor: George Alfred Williams

Ancestor's date of birth: 04/03/1872

Ancestor's date of death: 18/10/1956

Cause of Death: Cerebral thrombosis following freacture of thigh

Service and Life Before the Boer War: Born in Portsmouth England. Furniture maker and clerk in the Ordinance Stores. Was a member of the Queensland Volunteer Rifles and became Colour Sergeant in the original Moreton Regiment before joining 5 QIB.

Service Number: 312

Colony or State of enlistment: QLD, Place of Enlistment: Brisbane

Unit: 5th Queensland Imperial Bushmen

Rank attained in Boer War: CSGT, Date Effective: 05/12/1898

Highest Rank attained (if served after war): CAPT, Date Effective: 04/03/1932 (Hon rank on retirement)

Murray Page: 500

Contingent: Fifth Queensland.

Ship: Templemore, Date of Sailing: 06/03/1901

Memorial details: Buried in Taringa Cemetery

Awards/Decorations/Commendations: Queen's South Africa Medal with Orange Free State, Transvaal, SA 1901 and SA 1902 clasps. Long Service and Good Conduct Medal. British War Medal. Meritorious Service Commendation.

Personal Characteristics: Active sportsman, keen marksman, and very active in local (Taringa) politics. Height 173 cm, weight 64 kg (1907).

Reasons to go and fight: A soldier serving in the permanent forces of Queensland.

Details of service in war: April 1901 - March 1902 in east Transvaal, Free State including defeat at Mokari Drift (27 September 1901), and Natal border campaign including stand at Onverwacht (4 January 1902) where 13 died and 17 wounded.

Service and life after the Boer War: Returned to Australia: 30 April 1902 on the St Andrew and train from Sydney. Saw no further active service. Served in the Australian Instructional Corps, prior and during WW1 as a small arms instructor, mostly as a quartermaster after the war. Retired in 1932, but was did extended service until 1938 (based on confidential reports in his NAA dossier).

Transcript of a newspaper article shortly after George Alfred's death. The last sentence was added by Robert Williams.

An Old Identity Passes.

On Wednesday, l7 October, 1956, there passed away, at the age of 84, one of the identities of Taringa. He was Major G.A. Williams, affectionately known to all the district as "The Major". The son of a soldier he left his native Portsmouth and arrived in Brisbane at the age of 12.

After working for a furniture-maker, and as a clerk in the Ordinance Stores (during which period he was a member of the Queensland Volunteer Rifles, later becoming Colour-sergeant in the original Moreton Regiment), he went to the Boer War as Sergeant Major with the 5th Queensland Imperial Bushmen.

Peace having been signed at Vereeniging he returned home and was posted to Clermont as Instructor to the Light Horse of that district, arriving there during a very severe drought.

His next transfer was to Rockhampton where his office was in the old Customs House.

Some five years later, he was moved to Brisbane where he was attached to the Moreton Regiment and later to the Oxley Regiment (formerly the Q.V.R.)

The outbreak of World War[I] saw him as an officer of the 15th Bn. A.I.F. but his services were required in other spheres and he became Camp Sergeant MaJor at Enoggera, giving special attention to Musketry Instruction.

Following this period, he was senior Warrant Officer with the Moreton Regt. at Barry Parade, the 26th Bn. at Annerley, 9/15 at Kelvin Grove and at Victoria Barracks. At some point during this period he received his commission and had attained the rank of Major when he retired in 1932 [does not accord with his Army record].

In addition to what may be called his normal activities as a soldier, he found or made time to engage, with some considerable degree of success, in such sports as cricket, running, high-jumping, swimming and life-saving. In connection with the last-mentioned, he conducted, for quite a number of years, courses for teachers of the Queensland Dept. of Public Instruction, usually at Southport. He was a first-class rifleman, competing with a fair measure of success in some of the big prize meetings, being chosen as one of the team to shoot at Bisley. The old ranges at Toowong and Ekibin, at which he was often to be seen are now, of course, things of the past

Upon his retirement, he entered new spheres of activities.

As chairman of the Taringa Branch of the Q.P.P. (?), he was very active. For some years he was an active member of the Progress Association of his district resigning as chairman a little over a year ago. The South African Veterans' Association also, knew him as President for some 10 years, and they knew him, also, as one who would not miss a meeting or a parade if it was at all possible for him to attend.

Despite a very full programme, he still found time to play quite a fair game of bowls.

Then, during World War II, he was appolnted Air Raid Warden for the Taringa/Toowong district and, as something else to keep him busy, he was appointed a Justice of the Peace.

During the Royal Visit (Queen Elizabeth in 1954), he, with his wife, had the honour of being presented to Her Majesty.

However, on New Year's Day 1955, he had the great misfortune to fracture his thigh, and this most seriously curtailed his activity. Then, about four weeks ago he suffered a cerebral thrombosis which did not respond to treatment and, as a result, there passes from the district where, for so many years, he has given of himself, one who may be and has been very truly described as "An Officer and a Gentleman".

George Alfred is supposedly the man who sat for the statue commemorating the Boer War in Anzac Square.

Descendant Details

Name of Descendant: Robert Norman (Rob) Williams, Wellington Point QLD
Relationship to Ancestor: Great Grandson


 


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