John Lock George
2062 Pte. John Lock George was born at Ventnor in 1891 to William Henry George and Elizabeth nee Lock. They had recently bought the farm on Nobbies Road, later owned by the Justice family. John (known as Leo) was the youngest of six children: Owen, Catherine, Frank, Margaret, Jane and John.
William George was a councilor for the Phillip Island Riding of the Shire of Phillip Island and Woolamai.
John enlisted on 3rd March 1915 and was allotted to A Company of the 5th Battalion AIF. He left on the Hororata on the 17th April 1915. After training in Egypt he embarked from Alexandria for the Dardanelles on the Seang Choon on 8th June 1915 and was taken on strength on 17th June. The 5th Battalion had already landed at Gallipoli on 25th April and had taken part in struggle for the heights and gullies.
“On the morning of the 6th of August the attack on a Turkish strongpoint, now known as ‘Lone Pine’, began.The Turkish trenches were covered overhead by pine logs and the Australians had to break this defence whilst under intense fire. This was done by mid morning, at frightful cost. The exhausted attackers were relieved, and John George took his place in the trenches as part of the relieving force. Fierce counter attacks were mounted by the Turks in the late afternoon and evening. It was during these attacks that John George was mortally wounded.”
Alan Box (1984).
John died at sea on board the Gloucester Castle on the 7th August 1915 and was buried at sea.
John Lock George was the second Phillip Islander to be killed in the Great War and was one of two Islanders who died as a result of wounds at Gallipoli. The other was Island born Lance-corporal Raymond Slade Thornton.
The family sold their Ventnor farm to the Repatriation Department in 1919. The clearing sale was held at the Ventnor Hall.
John Lock George is commemorated on the Lone Pine Memorial, Gallipoli – together with 3,480 of his comrades – the Cowes Obelisk, the Phillip Island RSL Book of Honour, the Phillip Island RSL Roll of Honour, the Cowes Primary School Roll of Honor and St Philip’s Roll of Honor.
Source: Forgotten Names, Phillip Island War Memorials by Andrew Box.