Thursday, 10 April 2014

Forgotten Heroes - Lieutenant George Thomas Kellett Tench

Lieutenant George Thomas Kellett Tench, 32nd Battalion AIF.

A building contractor from Prospect, South Australia, prior to enlistment, he embarked as a Provisional Sergeant with the 4th Reinforcements from Adelaide on 9 March 1916 aboard RMS Mongolia for Suez. These reinforcements relocated to Plymouth for further training where he reverted to the rank of Private. He was promoted to Acting Corporal and then proceeded to join his battalion on the Western Front, near Dernancourt, France, on New Year’s Eve 1916. He rose rapidly through the ranks and on 9 March 1917 he was appointed Regimental Sergeant Major with the rank of Warrant Officer Class 1.

In late October 1917 he was recommended for the DCM for actions near Zonnebeke, Belgium. He was appointed Quarter Master with the rank of Honorary Lieutenant on 3 November 1917. Lt Tench was evacuated to England with an eye infection in December 1917 which required extensive treatment. While en route to his unit in late April 1918 he was wounded in action due to gassing and was again evacuated to England before finally rejoining the 32nd Battalion near Amiens.

Lt Tench was wounded in action near Bellicourt, France, on 29 September 1918, died of these wounds later that day and is buried in the Bellicourt British Cemetery. He was aged 35 years.

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