George Elsie EWENS

George Elsie EWENS

Pte. George Ewens, of Mandurama (Evening News, 20/9/1917)

Pte. George Ewens, of Mandurama (Evening News, 20/9/1917)

Per his military service record (regimental no. 4771), George Elsie Ewens was born at Mandurama, N.S.W.[1]  (His name is listed in some sections of his service record as George Leslie Ewens). He gave his age as 24 years and 3 months, his marital status as single, and his occupation as farmer.  His description on his Certificate of Medical Examination was height 5 feet 8 inches tall, weight 11 stone, with a medium complexion, grey eyes, and dark hair. His religious denomination was Presbyterian.  He claimed that he had no previous military service.

The Bathurst Times reported on 27th October 1915 that at Blayney (where the Coo-ees had stayed overnight the night before) ‘… as a result of a collection made amongst the people of Carcoar, Mandurama and Lyndhurst … the sum of £26 had been handed to Captain Hitchen as help to his men on their way to the front’, and that ‘They had also brought along a recruit in the person of Mr. George Ewins [sic], of Mandurama’.[2]

There is an irregularity in his service record, which perhaps indicates that some of his initial paperwork may have been lost.  His Statement of Service is recorded as having commenced on 28th October 1915 (when the Coo-ees were at Bathurst).  He completed his Certificate of Medical Examination at Liverpool on 23rd November 1915.  The Oath in his Attestation Paper was dated 28th October 1915, and recorded as ‘taken and subscribed at Bathurst’, but it was not signed by an Attesting Officer until 6th January 1916.

After completing the Coo-ee March he went to Liverpool Camp as reinforcement for the 13th Battalion.

On his embarkation roll his address at time of enrolment was Cathcart, Mandurama, N.S.W., and his next of kin was his father, J. B. [James Bell] Ewens, at the same address.  His date of joining on this document was 26th October 1915 (the day the Coo-ees stayed overnight at Blayney).

On 8th March 1916 Private Ewens, along with many of the other Coo-ees, departed Sydney on the HMAT A15 Star of England, as 15th reinforcements for the 13th Battalion, and arrived in Egypt on the 11th April 1916.

He was transferred to the 45th Battalion on 19th April 1916.

On 2nd June 1916 Private Ewens left Alexandria aboard the transport Kinfauns Castle, bound for France.  He arrived at Marseilles on 8th June 1916.

Private Ewens served with the 45th Battalion through its first action at Fleurbaix, France, in July 1916 then as it moved to Pozieres in early August 1916.  On 30th August 1916 the 45th Battalion was in the front line trenches between Pozieres and Mouquet Farm in France.  The Battalion had casualties of 1 man killed and 4 wounded.  Private Ewens was one of the wounded, suffering gunshot wounds to his back and leg.  (Fellow Coo-ee Private Healey was evacuated with shell shock on the same day).  Private Ewens was evacuated to the 44th Casualty Clearing Station, then admitted to the 13th General Hospital at Boulogne, France, the next day, on 31st August 1916.

On 2nd September 1916 Private Ewens was transferred to England aboard the Hospital Ship Newhaven, and admitted to the 2nd Eastern General Hospital in Brighton, England.

On 6th October 1916 he was discharged from hospital, and sent to the Number 1 Command Depot at Perham Downs, England.

On 8th October 1916 Private Ewens was granted leave, to report back on 25th October 1916.

On 27th October 1916 he marched out the Command Depot at Wareham.

On 11th November 1916 Private Ewens departed England to return to France.  He marched into the 4th Australian Division Base Depot at Etaples, France, on 13th November 1916.

He rejoined the 45th Battalion on 4th December 1916, when it was resting at Dernacourt, France.

On 23th February 1917 the 45th Battalion was in action near Guedecourt, France, when Private Ewens was wounded in action for the second time, receiving a gunshot wound to his left hand.  He was evacuated to a Casualty Clearing Station, then on 25th February 1917 he was placed aboard the 21st Ambulance Train.  He was moved to the 10th General Hospital at Rouen, France, where he was admitted on 26th February 1917.

On 3th March 1917 Private Ewens was transferred to the 2nd Convalescent Depot also at Rouen, France.

On 29th March 1917 he was transferred to the 4th Australian Division Base Depot at Etaples, France.

Private Ewens rejoined the 45th Battalion on 19th April 1917, when it was training at Bresle, France.

On 7th June 1917 the 45th Battalion was in action at Messines, Belgium, when Private Ewens was wounded in action for a third time, receiving a gunshot wound to his groin.  He was evacuated to the 77th Field Ambulance.  On 8th June 1917 he was sent to the 53rd Casualty Clearing Station.  On 9th June 1917 he was moved back to the 4th General Hospital.

On 18th of June 1917 Private Ewens was placed aboard the Hospital Ship Newhaven at Calais, France, for evacuation to England.  He was admitted to the 3rd London General Hospital at Wandsworth on the same day.

The Evening News reported on 20th September 1917 (with an accompanying photograph) that ‘Mr Ewens, a farmer, of Mandurama, has received word that his son, Private George Ewens, who enlisted with the Coo-ees, was wounded for the third time at Messines … Private Ewens is now in hospital in England’.[3]

On 8th October 1917 Private Ewens was transferred to the 3rd Australian Auxiliary Hospital at Dartford, England.  On 12th October 1917 he was discharged to Depot at Weymouth.

Private Ewens left England on 5th November 1917, for return to Australia aboard the H.M.A.T. Themistocles.

He arrived in Australia on 3rd January 1918, and was discharged medically unfit on 4th March 1918.


[1] NAA: B2455, EWENS G L – Ewens George Leslie : SERN 4771 : POB Mandurama NSW : POE Bathurst NSW : NOK F Ewens James Bell

[2] ‘Western News’, The Bathurst Times,  27 October 1917, p. 3. Retrieved February 10, 2017, from

[3] ‘N.S.W. Honor Roll’, Evening News,  20 September 1917, p. 6. Retrieved October 17, 2016, from


2 responses to “George Elsie EWENS

  1. Thank you for posting. This is my great grandfather.

  2. Kristine Smith

    Thank you posting this article George is my Great Uncle.

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