PRIVATE GEORGE DUNCAN RADNELL MM
1ST JUNE 1918 AGE
BURIED: VIGNACOURT BRITISH CEMETERY, FRANCE
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN
This is to certify that I the undersigned, father of George Duncan Radnell of Tarnagulla whose age is eighteen years and five months, hereby grant my consent to his enlistment as a unit of the Expeditionary Forces now being trained at Broadmeadows, Victoria.
Wm J Randall
Dated at Tarnagulla this 19th day of Jan. 1915
At the beginning of March 1915, Radnell embarked from Australia with the 14th Australian Infantry for Egypt. A month later, on 14 April, the battalion set sail from Alexandria and on 26 April went ashore at 'Kaba Tepe', Anzac Cove. On 21 August Randell went sick with enteritis - dysentery - and was hospitalized in England, only returning to his unit at the end of November, just in time for the evacuation from the peninsula.
The battalion transferred to France and on 28 August 1916 Radnell was wounded in the left arm, 'shell wound'. Hospitalized again in England, he returned to the front at the beginning of January 1917. Wounded and hospitalized in England again in September, he returned to France in January 1918.
In September 1917, Radnell was awarded a Military Medal:
"During the operations near Zonnebeke on 26 September 1917, Pte Radnell displayed great courage and initiative by getting together a party of 7 men and rushing an enemy post in which were 10 Germans, killing four and taking the remainder prisoners."
On 31 May Radnell was wounded for a third time, this time in the shoulder, face and legs. He died in a Casualty Clearing Station the next day.
Now look at his inscription: "George, a Tarnagulla lad, celebrated his 16th birthday at Anzac in 1915". George was not 18 and five months when he enlisted, as his father must have known only too well. He was 15. But he wanted to be with his elder brother and cousins who had all gone to fight. His brother, Charles Victor Radnell, was killed on 27 February 1917, and one of his cousins, Joseph Charles Radnell, on 4 August 1916.