The AIF Project

George Albert COTCHING

Regimental number3073
Place of birthHayes, Middlesex, England
SchoolBrunt Hill Home, Hanwell, Middlesex, England
Age on arrival in Australia18
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationDairy hand
AddressMidland Junction, Western Australia
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation24
Height5' 9.25"
Weight151 lbs
Next of kinFather, Joseph Cotching, Princes Brisboro, Bucks, England
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date1 September 1915
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll24 August 1915
Place of enlistmentPerth, Western Australia
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name28th Battalion, 7th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/45/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Fremantle, Western Australia, on board HMAT A7 Medic on 18 January 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll32nd Battalion
FateKilled in Action 20 July 1916
Place of death or woundingFleurbaix, France (Battle of Fromelles)
Age at death24
Age at death from cemetery records24
Place of burialRation Farm Military Cemetery (Plot VI, Row K, Grave No. 26), La Chapelle d'Armentieres, France
Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
120
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Joseph and Alice COTCHING, 'Stranbally', Cleveland Road, Uxbridge, England
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Embarked Freemantle, 18 January 1916; disembarked Suez, 16 February 1916.

Taken on strength of 32nd Bn, Duntroon Plateau, 6 April 1916.

Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 17 June 1916; disembarked Marseilles, France, 23 June 1916.

Posted missing, 20 July 1916.

Court of Enquiry, held in the field, 12 August 1917, pronounced fate as 'Killed in Action, 20 July 1916'.Note, Red Cross File No 810604: 'No trace Germany[.] Cert. by Capt. Mills. 10.10.19.'

Statement, 3235 Pte W.G. PODMORE, C Company, 32nd Bn (patient, Woodcote Park Hospital, England), 23 October 1916: 'On 19th July at Fleurbaix, in No Man's Land, Cotching and Pte Dean passed informant (who was lying wounded) on their way to Dressing Station - both wounded in the leg. This was at 5 p.m. Informant watched them get safely into our trench. Since then Dean has been reported killed. The presumption is that were caught by another shell.'

Second statement, 951 Pte H. HEARNE, 32nd Bn (patient, Thornton Heath Hospital, England), 17 November 1916: 'Informant states that George Cotching was shot in the shin and the face by shrapnel just as he was going over the parapet. Immediately afterwards Informant was wounded himself.'

Letter, Marion COTCHING, to Red Cross, 30 December 1916: 'I am afraid there is very little hope that he was not killed and although it is a terrible grief [I[ am - like thousands of other Mothers - proud that he died doing his duty.'

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, COTCHING George Albert
Red Cross file 810604

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