George Cecil STEWART

Full Name George Cecil STEWART
Serial No. 60004
Rank Private
Status/Occupation -- / Farmer
Body 30th Reinforcement, NZEF
Unit E Company
Last Address --
Next of Kin Mrs G.C. Stewart (Wife), PO Box 43, Christchurch
WW1 Medal Entitlement British War Medal 1914-19
Victory Medal
Embarked Embarked 13th November 1917 aboard HMNZT 94 (ss Arawa) and disembarked 8th December 1917 at Liverpool, ENGLAND.
Casualty List Book XIV, Page 1832
Wellington Infantry Regiment Killed in Action Non-commissioned Officers and Men
"60004 Private Stewart, G.C. Date Reported 13th October 1918; Casualty List No 976/7; Force 30th Reinforcement"
Roll of Honour 60004 Pte. Stewart, George Cecil W.I.R. Killed in Action, France, 1st October 1918
Commemorative Information
Memorial Grevillers (New Zealand) Memorial, Pas De Calais, France
Location Grevillers (New Zealand) Memorial is situated in Grevillers British Cemetery. Grevillers is a village in the Department of the Pas-de-Calais, 3 kilometres west of Bapaume. From Bapaume take the RD929 in the direction of Amiens, turn immediately right onto the RD7, where a signpost indicates the direction of the cemetery. After 500 metres turn left at junction onto RD29, where a signpost again indicates the cemetery, which is on the right after a further 50 metres. In the period from March to November 1918, the New Zealand Division lost 2600 officers and men. The Memorial commemorates 446 of these soldiers of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force, who fell in the Battle of the Somme and the advances in 1918 and who have no known grave. The names are carved on stone panels fixed to a stone screen wall behind the Cross, and above the names is the following inscription:

HERE ARE RECORDED THE NAMES OF OFFICERS AND MEN OF NEW ZEALAND WHO FELL IN THE BATTLES OF THE SOMME, MARCH TO AUGUST 1918 AND IN THE FINAL VICTORIOUS ADVANCE AUGUST TO NOVEMBER 1918. THEIR GRAVES ARE KNOWN ONLY TO GOD.

Additional Information Seven Memorials are erected in France and Belgium to those New Zealand soldiers who fell on the Western Front and whose graves are not known. They are all in cemeteries, chosen as appropriate to the fighting in which the casualties occurred; and two are near the Somme. The Caterpillar Valley Memorial relates to the Battles of the Somme, 1916; the Memorial in Grevillers British Cemetery relates to the defensive fighting of the New Zealand Division in nearly the same area from March to August, 1918, and their share in the Advance to Victory between the 8th August and the 11th November.

THE BATTLES OF THE SOMME, 1918. The first units of the Division arrived on the new front in the neighbourhood of Colincamps and Mailly-Maillet, on the morning of the 26th March. They had been in Corps Reserve about St. Omer on the 21st, when the German attack began, and the arrangements for reinforcing the Fifth Army were already in existence; but from day to day the situation changed for the worse and the route and destination were perforce altered. When the leading units arrived, they found the Germans advancing in small detachments from the North and East over undefended country, and held them; and other units of the Division arrived, reinforced and extended the original Divisional front, and established the line. Attacked heavily on the 27th, they gave ground only at one point. By the 4th April they had made several short advances; and on the 5th (in the Battle of the Ancre) they repulsed, except for a slight loss of ground at La Signy Farm, a German attack in force preceded by a heavy bombardment. The fighting died down on the 6th.

APRIL-AUGUST, 1918. The remainder of April, the month of May and the first week of June were marked by incessant raids on the enemy, with comparatively little retaliation on his part. From the 7th June to the beginning of July the Division (less the Artillery) rested. On the 2nd July they returned to the front between Bucquoy and Hebuterne, and by the middle of August they had-among other local successes-cleared Rossignol Wood and repulsed a strong enemy raid. The Battle of Amiens (8th-11th August), the first important purely British victory of 1918, was fought on the South-East side of the Albert-Bapaume road; but its effects were felt on the New Zealand front as early as the night of the 13th-14th August. By the 16th, partly following up and partly attacking, the Division was established in the Western part of Puisieux.

THE BATTLE OF ALBERT, 1918 (21ST-23RD AUGUST). THE SECOND BATTLE OF BAPAUME (31ST AUGUST-3RD SEPTEMBER). On the 21st August the IV Corps, with the New Zealand Division in the centre, stormed the German front line and reached the Arras-Albert railway line; and on the 23rd they advanced to Bihucourt and Irles, threatening Bapaume. On the 24th the Division surprised the German garrison of Grevillers and took that village and Biefvillers. For four more days they fought their way North and South of the town of Bapaume, and on the 29th they occupied it. The pursuit was carried on, despite the obstinate German resistance, and Fremicourt and Bancourt fell to the New Zealanders on the 30th. By the 3rd they had passed Bertincourt.

THE BATTLES OF THE HINDENBURG LINE. THE BATTLE OF HAVRINCOURT (12TH SEPTEMBER). THE BATTLE OF THE CANAL DU NORD (27TH SEPTEMBER-1ST OCTOBER). THE BATTLE OF CAMBRAI, 1918 (8TH-9TH OCTOBER).During the next few days the Division pushed on, clearing Ruyaulcourt on the 4th and Havrincourt Wood on the 6th. On the 12th, in a fiercely fought action, they captured ground between Trescault and Gouzeaucourt which formed part of the outermost defences of the Hindenburg Line. Local fighting followed on the 13th, and on the 14th the Division was relieved. On the 28th they came back to the same area to follow up the renewed attack; and on the 29th they took Welsh Ridge, La Vacquerie, Bonavis Ridge, 1,400 prisoners and 32 guns. They could see the city of Cambrai, now partly on fire. On the 30th September and the 1st October, after very severe fighting, they crossed the Canal at Crevecaeur and captured the village. They were now past the Hindenburg Line and in front of the trench system called the Beaurevoir-Masnieres line; and they were five miles due South of Cambrai. The capture of Cambrai was effected by the incessant pressure of the Third, Fourth and French First Armies between Cambrai and St. Quentin. The decisive attack was launched on the 8th October, and on that day the New Zealand Division took Lesdain and Esnes. The enemy resistance weakened, and by the 10th the banks of the Selle were reached at Briastre. After very severe fighting on the 11th and 12th a position on the further bank was established by the capture of Belle Vue and the railway station. In five days' fighting and pursuit the Division had advanced eleven miles, and, at the cost of 536 casualties, had inflicted very heavy losses on the enemy and captured thirteen field guns and over 1, 400 prisoners.

THE FINAL ADVANCE IN PICARDY. THE BATTLE OF THE SELLE (17TH-25TH OCTOBER). THE BATTLE OF THE SAMBRE AND THE CAPTURE OF LE QUESNOY (4TH NOVEMBER). On the 20th October the enemy were driven beyond the Selle, from Denain to Le Cateau j and on the 23rd the New Zealand Division was again in the line, two miles East of the river. They took Vertigneul and Romeries, crossed the St. Georges and Ecaillon rivers, and going past their final objectives cleared Beaudignies. By the evening of the 24th they were 1,000 yards from Le Quesnoy; but here the enemy stood, and for a short time the British line halted and dug in. Le Quesnoy, a small but very ancient town, had been refortified by Vauban with a triple line of brick ramparts. It stood opposite the middle of the Third Army line on the 4th November, and the New Zealand Division was to are now nearly 450, 1914-1918 war casualties commemorated on this memorial. The names are carved on stone panels fixed to a stone screen wall behind the Cross, at the North end of Grevillers British Cemetery; and above them are carved the words: "Here are recorded the names of officers and men of New Zealand who fell in the Battles of the Somme, March to August, 1918, and in the final victorious advance August to November 1918. Their graves are known only to God."envelop it; and before the afternoon the Division and its Artillery were on the East side of the town. They reached Herbignies during the day. Meanwhile the town was spared the destruction which bombardment must have caused, and the Rifle Brigade, escalading it in the fashion of earlier wars, received the surrender of the garrison. The Division followed up the retreating enemy through the Forest of Mormal; but at midnight of the 5th-6th it was relieved. The Artillery were in action until the 9th.

THE MEMORIAL. The Division captured, from March to November, over 9,000 prisoners and 145 guns; and in that period it lost by death 2,600 officers and men. There are now nearly 450, 1914-1918 war casualties commemorated on this memorial. The names are carved on stone panels fixed to a stone screen wall behind the Cross, at the North end of Grevillers British Cemetery; and above them are carved the words: "Here are recorded the names of officers and men of New Zealand who fell in the Battles of the Somme, March to August, 1918, and in the final victorious advance August to November 1918. Their graves are known only to God."