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The grave of George Holden, Port Said War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt. Image courtesy Australian War Memorial.

Born in Cargo in 1899, George Holden claimed to be 20 years old when he enlisted in Orange in October 1917. He was, in fact, just 18 years old.

George was the second of three boys born to Samuel Holden and Rosalind (nee Locke), who had married in Cargo in 1896. He attended Bowan Park School Public School and was working as a farmer prior to enlistment. He was also a member of the Bowan Park Farmers and Settlers’ Association, who presented him with booklets of War Savings Stamps to the value of £3 10s prior to embarkation.

George embarked from Sydney in March 1918. He was stationed in Moascar, Egypt, where he was a trooper with the 1st Light Horse Regiment, 35th Reinforcement.

Trooper Holden was hospitalised in August and September 1918 with pyrexia (fever) and neurasthenia (hysteria). He was transferred to the 14th Australian General Hospital in Port Said, where he died of malaria the following month, aged 19 years.

George Holden is commemorated on the Cudal District Honour Roll, the Cudal and District War Memorial Gates, the Toogong War Memorial and on panel number 2 on the Roll of Honour at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.

George is also remembered on a commemorative plaque in Orange Cemetery, Presbyterian Block 3, Grave 55.

George’s brother, Herbert Hamilton Holden also served in WWI; he returned to Australia in August 1919.

George Holden commemorative plaque, Orange Cemetery. Image courtesy Orange Cemetery.