In early 1915 18 year old Eric Green travelled from his home in Cargo to Sydney to enlist. He failed his medical examination and was advised to undergo an operation to improve his chances of being accepted into the AIF. Eric, a labourer, saved his money and endured several operations before presenting at Liverpool on 20 June 1915. Because he was under 21 years of age Eric he was required to produce evidence of his parents’ consent. He presented the following letter of permission, written by his father, George, on 13 June 1915.
Eric was successful on this occasion; he joined the 19th Battalion, 3rd Reinforcement as a private and embarked from Sydney on 9 August. He joined the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force at Gallipoli on 28 September 1915, but was admitted to 1st Australian Stationary Hospital at Mudros the same day with mumps.
Private Green reported for duty on 12 October 1915. He served at Gallipoli for two months, returning to camp in Egypt following the evacuation of the peninsula. He left Alexandria in March 1916 to join the British Expeditionary Force in France; one of the first Australian troops to arrive on the Western Front.
Eric was wounded in battle at Armentieres in May 1916. He died from his wounds on 29 May 1916, aged 20. Eric was the second serviceman from the Orange district to die on the Western Front. He is buried in the Brewery Orchard Cemetery at Bois Grenier, two and a half miles south of Armentieres.
A note enclosed in Eric’s pay book requested that in the event of his death both his mother, Mary, and Miss P Sims of Burwood be notified. His personal effects consisted of one prayer book, four coins and an identity disc, which were forwarded to his mother in December 1916.
Eric Green is commemorated on panel number 88 on the Roll of Honour at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.
Molong Express and Western District Advertiser, 1 July 1916, p. 10.
Cargo Soldier’s Death