George Leslie Rayment

 
Birth Date:
AUG 1894
Death Date:
1976
Service Branch:
Australian Army 3rd Light Horse
Service Number:
3
Story:

George Leslie Rayment was born at Surrey Hills, Victoria, Australia in August 1894, the sixth child of James Rayment and Harriett Frances Rayment née Ratten.

His mother died in 1897 and his father then re-married because the children were still quite young and in obvious need of a mother.

After leaving school George became a Clerk until on 16th November 1914, nearly four months after the outbreak of the First World War, he enlisted at the age of 20 in the Australian Army 3rd Light Horse Postal Corps.

After just three months military training in Australia he embarked aboard the ship HMAT (His Majesty’s Australian Transport) Star of Victoria on 25th February 1915 for the long sea voyage to Egypt via Colombo and Aden.

Following further training at Mena and Heliopolis, he landed at Gallipoli in May and served with the 3rd Light Horse Headquarters Brigade, of which he was appointed the Brigade Clerk in July 1915 and promoted to Corporal (photograph above left).

After four months active service in Gallipoli, during time which he experienced digging trenches, shortage of water, shellfire, Turkish attacks, snipers and lice, he contracted enteric fever and was then evacuated to London aboard the ship HS (Hospital Ship) Aquitania.

He soon found himself promoted to Temporary Staff Sergeant at “C” group Headquarters and was mentioned in dispatches, having been brought to the attention of the Secretary of State for War but was discharged on compassionate grounds following the death of his 54-year-old father in Melbourne on 27th November 1916 and the ensuing collapse of his stepmother.  Although a discharge on such grounds was not common, the military authorities had probably been swayed by the fact that, in addition to having now lost both his natural parents, he had also very recently lost a brother who had been badly injured whilst serving in Iraq and another of his brothers was missing in action.

Returning home to Australia he applied for work with the armed forces in Melbourne and on 6th July 1918 he married Celia Grace Lewis at Highfield Road Methodist Church in Surrey Hills, Victoria.  He and Celia had one child, a girl, who was born in 1923 but Celia died just four years later, leaving George alone to bring up their daughter.

He died in 1976 at Blackburn Victoria at the age of 82, thus being one of the lucky Rayments to have survived service in the First World War.

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