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№ 1143


1 December 2004

Hammer Price:

Three: Lieutenant G. H. C. Hart, 12th Battalion A.I.F., who, having been wounded at Gallipoli, died of wounds in France April 1918

1914-15 Star (934 L./Cpl., 12/Bn. A.I.F.); British War Medal 1914-20 (Lieut., A.I.F.); Victory Medal 1914-19 (Lieut., 12-Bn. A.I.F.), extremely fine (3) £350-400

George Hope Campbell Hart, the son of John and Annie Hart of Glasgow, Scotland, died of wounds on 25 April 1918, while serving in the 12th Battalion, A.I.F. He had arrived in France in April 1916, following active service in Gallipoli, where he was slightly wounded in August 1915. In a letter to his mother, dated 26 April 1918, a friend of his wrote:
‘It was with deep regret that I learned of poor George’s death only a few days ago from a Major of his Battalion. I met the Major while on leave in London who told me George died after laying out in the open for 24 hours and then being brought into the Casualty Clearing Station was still conscious but passed away after being there about an hour. This Major spoke in the highest possible terms of George’s bravery and said he feared nothing, which must be a grand consolation to you ... He was nicknamed “Steve Hart” after one of Australia’s best known characters, on account of his bravery and daring ...’

Hart, who was 37 years of age, was interred in Ebblinghem Military Cemetery, France.

Sold with a quantity of original documentation, including several letters from the recipient to his mother, the earliest dating from 26 August 1915, written in “The Trenches” at Gallipoli (‘ ... The wound has healed up long ago and I am all right now. Just a slight knock through the flesh of the thigh ...’), and the last, poignantly, written “In the Field”, with date stamped envelope for 10 April 1918 (‘ ... I am writing in a very comfortable brick cellar under an old chateau ...’); together with H.Q., A.I.F. and Buckingham Palace telegrams regarding the recipient’s death, dated 27 April and 3 May 1918 respectively; five wartime photographs, among them a picture of the recipient’s original gravesite, with related forwarding letter; and further original documentation relating to other family members, Captain J. D. Hart, R.A.M.C. and Lieutenant C. J. Hart, R.A.S.C., the latter including further photographs.