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Geddes, Clifford Mervyn (1887–1946)

Clifford Mervyn Geddes, c. 1914, photographer unknown

Clifford Mervyn Geddes, c. 1914, photographer unknown

from Bank of NSW Roll of Honour

LIFFORD MERVYN GEDDES was born at Warialda, N.S.W., on 3rd November, 1887, the son of the late Mr. William Butler Geddes and Mrs. Sarah Geddes. He was educated at the Warialda Public School and the Boys’ High School, East Maitland, N.S.W.

He began as a clerk in the Bank at Tamworth on 6th April, 1904, and was promoted to ledger-keeper on 1st July, 1907. Transferred to Warialda in August, 1907, and thence in the following July to Mudgee, where he was appointed teller on 1st January, 1911. Two years later he was transferred to the Head Office.

Clifford Geddes enlisted on 19th August, 1914, and sailed from Australia as a private in the 1st Division in October, 1914. He was with the 3rd Battalion in the Landing at Gallipoli. While attempting to land in a rowing boat on the historic 25th April, the Turks put a shell through the boat and sunk it. By one of those curious coincidences of the War, when Clifford Geddes emerged from the water he found himself alongside L. De Saxe, also of the Head Office Staff of the Bank, who was in a similar plight. Both were rescued from drowning by sailors from H.M.S. “Bacchante.”

While on the Peninsula Clifford Geddes was promoted to corporal, and was in action there until the end of July, when he became seriously ill and was sent to Lemnos. He was removed to Malta, and spent six months in hospital and convalescent camp; then sailed for Egypt and was invalided home. After discharge from the hospital in Sydney early in 1916, he returned to Liverpool camp as Sergeant, and re-embarked from Australia in 1917.

On reaching France Clifford Geddes joined the 13th Battalion, and fought on the Hebuterne front in April, 1918, and then on the Somme. He was engaged in the Battle of Hamel on 4th July, 1918, and was at Villers-Bretonneux from its recapture by the Australians until the 8th August, when the big final advance was made which ended in victory. He took part in that advance, and after the signing of the Armistice, was stationed with his battalion around Charleroi. He returned to England in April, 1919, and sailed for Australia on the “Mahia” in the following June.

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'Geddes, Clifford Mervyn (1887–1946)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://peopleaustralia.anu.edu.au/biography/geddes-clifford-mervyn-20788/text31536, accessed 7 April 2020.

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