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Private: 3131A George William COOLEY.

Born: 1883. Argyle, New South Wales, Australia. Birth Cert:10964/1883.

Married: 1922. Goulburn, New South Wales, Australia. Marriage Cert:10374/1922.

Wife: Charlotte Ellen Cooley. nee: Lewis. (1866-23/4/1940) Buried at Taralga Cemetery

Died: 5th November 1962. Crookwell, New South Wales, Australia. Death Cert:40809/1966. Buried at Taralga Cemetery

Father: Samuel Cooley. (1856-19/11/1933) Buried at Taralga Cemetery

Mother: Eliza Cooley nee: Rook. (1860-13/11/1935) Buried at Taralga Cemetery


George William Cooley enlisted with the 8th Reinforcements 55th Battalion AIF on the 26th July 1917 at Goulburn, N.S.W. and embarked onboard HMAT A29 "Suevic" for England on the 11th November 1916. George was Charged with being AWOL on the 25th December 1916 whist being at Cape Town. Charge 1 Days Pay by Lieutenat Colonel D.P. WHITE. George disembarked at Devonport England on the 30th January 1917 and was admitted to the 4th Southern General Hospital suffering from the Mumps and remaind there for the nex month in isolation.

4th Southern General Hospital in Plymouth had the capacity for 193 officers and 1029 other ranks. George returned to training on the 28th of Febuary with the 14th Training Battalion at Hardcott where he was transfered for a short time to the 62nd Battalion before proceeding overseas for France via Southampton on the 23rd August 1917 where he was Taken on in Strength with the 35th Battalion in France on the 1st September 1917 and allocated the Regimetal prefix 3131A to his serial number.

On the 24th February 1918 George was admitted to hospital sufering from Trench Fever and evacuated to France before being Invalided back to England where he was admitted to the 1st Southern General Hospital.

Australian soldiers with nurses at the 1st Southern General Hospital

12th April 1918.

Informant: Private: 3131 George William COOLEY 35th Battalion AIF. I saw Private: 6623 Joseph Daniel REED killed at Passchendaele. He caught a bullet from a machine gun, death being instantaneous. I was only a few yards away at the time. Casualty happended about 11:00a.m when we were out to take up a machine gun position. I did not know him very well but I knew he came from N.S.Wales. I do not know place of burial and I cannot refer to anyone, but the groung was held and I feel sure he would be buried.

3rd Australian Auxillery Hospital, Dartford England.

1st May 1918.

Informant: Private: 3131 George William COOLEY 35th Battalion AIF. Private: 6623 Joseph Daniel REED was in my Platoon No:16 of "D" Coy 35thbn. A few of the Platoon including REED and myself, were working around to try and get at a Machine Gun emplacement, in the Passchendaele "stunt". We took over in some shell-holes, REED and two others were out in the open, walking up to where the Machine Gun was. They got to within about twenty-five yards of where the Machine Gun was, when they were knocked over. I saw the three men fall, REED being the last one to go down. I am certain REED was the last one to go down, he was about twenty-five yards from me. I left the shell-hole I was in, about two hours after, and REED was still lying in the open. I did not go over to him so cannot say if he was really killed. He was lying face downwards.

Statement made and signed before me at Hardcott.

George spent the next 3 months in England befor proceeding overseas for France again on the 26th of June via Folkstone and was marched in to the Base Depot in France. George was transported into the line but was returned to France and admitted to the Kitchener Hospital suffering again from Trench Fever on the 26th July 1917. He was again Invalided back to England and admitted to Hospital before embarking for Australia onboard the "City of York" on the 14th of January 1919. During the voyage to Australia George was admitted to the Ships Hospital and disembakked in Maelourne on the 5th March and was sent to Sydney by Train and discharged from the AIF on the 28th of May 1919.

Family Information

George was a single 32year old Labourer from Taralga, N.S.W upon enlistment. His parents Samuel and Eliza Cooley were married in 1880 at Goulburn, N.S.W. Marriage Cert:3315/1880 and had 9 children. Sarah Ann Cooley born 1881 at Goulburn N.S.W. Birth Cert:9673/1881 and died 1881 at Goulburn N.S.W. Death Cert:4626/1881. Mary Ann Cooley born 1882 at Argyle N.S.W. Birth Cert:10256/1882. George William Cooley born 1883 at Argyle, N.S.W. Birth Cert:10964/1883 and died 1962 at Crookwell, N.S.W. Death Cert:17368/1962. Charles James Cooley born 1884 at Argyle, N.S.W. Birth Cert:12827/1884 and died 1966 at Goulburn, N.S.W. Death Cert:40809/1966. Emily Cooley born 1886 at Argyle, N.S.W. Birth Cert:13838/1886. Haidee E Cooley born 1887 at Taralga, N.S.W. Birth Cert:14655/1887. Sarah M Cooley born 1891 at Taralga, N.S.W. Birth Cert:33909/1891. Herbert John Cooley born 1895 at Taralga, N.S.W. Birth Cert:7973/1895 and died 1950 at Goulburn, N.S.W. Death Cert:21804/1950. Elsie A Cooley born 1897 at Taralga, N.S.W. Birth Cert:16812/1897.

Taralga Cemetery where George Cooley is buried with his parents

Military Records

Australian National Archives

Under Construction; 14/05/2013-26/12/2013.

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