George Bates (1888-1967)Subject
Wyndham City LibrariesDate
No. 2398 2nd Air Mechanic George Bates
George Bates was born on 26 February 1888 at Richmond Victoria. His father, George, was 26 and his mother, Isabella Galwey, was 25.
He had two brothers and three sisters. They were:
- Charles Bate (1890-1910)
- John Bate (1892-1915)
- Ethel Victoria Isabel Bates (1894-1977)
- Isabella Bate (1896-1977)
- Alison Ivy Bate (1899-1945)
George married Mary Victoria Thompson Rees in 1909 in Victoria. Mary was born on 24 February 1888 in Little River, Victoria, and was the daughter of Emily and John Rees. George and Mary had four children during their marriage. Mary died on 29 June 1977 in her hometown of Little River, at the age of 89.
George enlisted in the Australian Flying Corps on 3 November 1917 at Footscray, Victoria and was assigned to Australian Flying Corps, October 1917 Reinforcements.
His formal service began at the Australian Flying Corps Depot, Laverton, as a 2nd Class Air Mechanic. The training period was brief – barely six weeks – before he embarked for England on H.M.A.T. Ulysses on 22 December 1917. After a couple of months at sea he disembarked at Southhampton on 13 February 1918 and was immediately posted to the AFC Training Depot at Wendover.
On 13 August 1918, he was posted to the AFC Nucleus Flight at Stonehenge and then on 4 November 1918 to 1st Australian Wing, Tetbury. There is sparse detail on the nature of his service in the United Kingdom.
Finally, on 6 May 1919, Bates embarked aboard the Kaiser-I-Hind for the voyage back to Australia. He had been in the United Kingdom for just over 12 months.
The return voyage was somewhat quicker, and George arrived back in Melbourne on 16 June. Just three weeks later, on 9 July, he was formally discharged from the AIF at the 3rd Military District (i.e. Melbourne).
Article in the local press mentions his return home:
“Another Little River soldier, 2nd Air Mechanic George Bates, returned safely to Little River on Tuesday evening, June 17, and was met at the station by a number of friends who extended to him a hearty welcome home again. On Sunday at the Methodist Church the Rev. R. B. Roberts on behalf of the congregation spoke a few words of welcome, and congratulated Mr. Bates on his safe arrival and said how pleased he was to see him once again in the House of God at both services. At the evening service Mr. and Mrs. Bates sang a duet which was much enjoyed by all who were present.”
Werribee Shire Banner, 26 June 1919, p.2.
Census records have George and May living in Little River from 1919–1967.
George passed away in 1967 and is buried in Werribee, Victoria.
There is some confusion with the surname as some records have him listed as Bate and others as Bates.
Census records have most of the family members down as Bate in 1915-16 and have John listed as Bates.
The Werribee Shire Banner article has them all listed as Bates.
Medals and Entitlments:
- British War Medal
National Archives of Australia
Trove - newspapers
Australian Electoral Rolls