The AIF Project

Geoffrey Colborne VEEL

Regimental number668
Place of birthFitzroy, Melbourne, Victoria
SchoolAuburn State School and Bendigo State School, Victoria
AddressMiroa, Larritt Street, Bendigo, Victoria
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation25
Height5' 8.5"
Weight142 lbs
Next of kinMother, Mrs Veel, Miroa, Larritt Street, Bendigo, Victoria
Previous military serviceServed in the Cadets and Militia (8th Australian Infantry Regiment, Citizen Military Forces).
Enlistment date21 September 1914
Place of enlistmentBendigo, Victoria
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name14th Battalion, E Company
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/31/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board A38 Ulysses on 22 December 1914
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll14th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 21 August 1915
Place of death or woundingGallipoli, Turkey
Age at death26
Age at death from cemetery records26
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Lone Pine Memorial (Panel 43), Gallipoli, Turkey

The Lone Pine Memorial, situated in the Lone Pine Cemetery at Anzac, is the main Australian Memorial on Gallipoli, and one of four memorials to men of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force. Designed by Sir John Burnet, the principal architect of the Gallipoli cemeteries, it is a thick tapering pylon 14.3 metres high on a square base 12.98 metres wide. It is constructed from limestone mined at Ilgardere in Turkey.

The Memorial commemorates the 3268 Australians and 456 New Zealanders who have no known grave and the 960 Australians and 252 New Zealanders who were buried at sea after evacuation through wounds or disease. The names of New Zealanders commemorated are inscribed on stone panels mounted on the south and north sides of the pylon, while those of the Australians are listed on a long wall of panels in front of the pylon and to either side. Names are arranged by unit and rank.

The Memorial stands over the centre of the Turkish trenches and tunnels which were the scene of heavy fighting during the August offensive. Most cemeteries on Gallipoli contain relatively few marked graves, and the majority of Australians killed on Gallipoli are commemorated here.

Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Commemorated in Bendigo Cemetery, Victoria. Parents: Robert and Catherine Marie COLBORNE-VEEL, 16 Lawson Street, St. Kilda South, Victoria
Family/military connectionsBrother William David Colburn Veel gained the DCM and was given his Commission in the field.
Other details

War service: Egypt, Gallipoli

Embarked Alexandria to join the Mediterranean Expeditionary Forece, Gallipoli, 12 April 1915.

Wounded in action, and admitted to HS 'Galeka', 3 May 1915 (gun shot wound, left thigh); transferred to England, 3 May 1915; embarked Alexandria to rejoin unit, Gallipoli, 6 August 1915.

Reported wounded and missing, 21 August 1915.

Court of Enquiry, held at Serapeum, Egypt, 6-8-28 April 1916' declared fate to be 'killed in action, 21 August 1915'.

Statement, Red Cross File No 2810910L, 2267 Sergeant F.B. SMITH, 14th Bn, Machine Gun Section, 3 April 1916: 'Informant states that this casualty was killed on the 7th August at Lone Pine, at Hill 971, in the afternoon about 3 o'clock. Casualty was killed when digging himself in in [sic] a sap. He was carried away by Pte. Harvey, who, as far as informant knows, is still at the front.'

Second statement, 645 Corporal A.G. ROSS, 50th Battery, Field Artillery (formerly A Company, 14th Bn), 27 June 1916: 'I heard this man was killed as he was carrying despatches to the O.C. on the left flank at Anzac on the 21st Aug. 1915. He s shot dead by rifle bullet just before he reached the O.C. I was told this in September by several of my chums in the Battalion. Veel was 5' 9" in height[,] rather thin, had black hair, and came from Bendigo, Victoria. He worked in a grocer's shop before the War.'

Note, Red Cross File, 8 February 1916: 'The casualty was known as "Jeff" amongst his mates and has been confused with Pte. N. Veal, No. 2070, 14th Btn., who was killed on August 7th.'

Third statement, 1202 Sergeant A.J. HARRIS, Headquarters, 14th Bn, 20 February 1916: 'Veel was wounded towards the end of May 1915, and was sent to England. He came back two or three days before Aug. 21 and was made a dispatch carrier. On Aug. 21, Veel & L/C D.W. Ryan, 915, 14 A.I.F.,had to carry dispatches across a very bad area between Australia Gully and Hill 60. They delivered the dispatches and almost immediately Veel was shot by a sniper. Pte L. Madden, M.G.S. 14th Battn, saw this happen. He did not know Veel, but described the new leather equipment Veel wore, which led witnesses and their mates to be certain it was Veel. Veel and Ryan were both recommended for the D.C.M. as the result of this exploit, but owing to a miscarriage the recommendation did not go through.'

Medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, VEEL Geoffrey Colborne
Red Cross File No 2810910L

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