The Reverend George Huntley Rae enlisted in the Austraian Imperial Force on 14 February 1916, joining the Australian Camel Corps. By this time his brother, Sergeant-Major Norman Dunstan Rae, had already been invalided home from the trenches of Gallipoli and other brother, Captain William John Rae, was also serving with the Australian Camel Corps in Egypt. They were the sons of William Allwood Rae and Florence Julia Rae (nee Johnson) of Glenroi, Bathurst Road, Orange. William Rae was a licenced surveyor in Orange at the time.
Reverend George Rae was born in Deniliquin in 1876. His family moved to Forbes where the rest of his siblings were born. He came from a large family of three brothers and seven sisters.
In 1913 George took up the position of assistant to the Reverend AJ Gardner in Forbes and at the time of his enlistment he was assisting Canon Taylor at the Orange Church of England. During his ministry he also acted as assistant at St John’s Mudgee under the late Archdeacon Dunstan.
Prior to enlisting George married Amy Esther Peters, the daughter of James Peters of Store Creek. Their beautiful wedding at Holy Trinity Church in Orange is described in detail in the Forbes Advocate of 20 November 1914.
Reverend Rae suffered a series of health issues and was confined to hospital in Sydney for appendicitis and then mumps prior to leaving for the front. Again, in January 1918 in Egypt, he had several stays in hospital for various respiratory problems.
On 3 September 1917 George embarked on HMAT Kiara in Sydney. By 19 September newspapers reported that 3,000 of his company had arrived in Western Australia. He was posted to the 4th Battalion and marched into Moascar on 22 June 1918 as part of the Egyptian Expeditionary Forces. In March 1919 he was promoted to Extra Regimental/2nd Corporal Cairo and returned to Australia via MT Delta on 2 August 1919.
On his return to Australia he continued his ministry in Tingha, New South Wales, before retiring to Inverell, where he died in 1950.
George Huntley Rae is commemorated on the Holy Trinity Church Orange Honour Roll.
* Sharon Jameson, August 2018