Topic: Trooper George Hansen

Topic type:

A soldier of the Great War who died of malaria in Palestine.

George Hansen

Trooper George Hansen - 10344                     

George was born at Killinchy on 5 August 1891, son of Charles and Rachel Hansen. He was well known in the district, for he assisted on his father's farm for some years prior to joining the colours. He was one of four brothers who answered the call of Empire. He was 5ft 3 ¼ in tall with a fair complexion, blue eyes and light brown hair.

George enlisted 11th November 1916 and was assigned to 12th Reinforcements, Wellington Infantry Battalion, J Company.  He embarked for Suez aboard the Mokia on 6th May 1916 disembarking in Suez on 22nd June 1916. He was posted to the NZ Mounted Training Regiment at Tel el Kebir on 27th July 1916 and the same day transferred to the Imperial Camel Corps. The Corps had been established in January 1916 and in August 1916 the No 15 (New Zealand) Company, Imperial Camel Corps, was formed from men originally intended as reinforcements for the New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade. George was posted to the Imperial Camel Corps at Abbassia on 30th July 1916. He was detached for a short period to the RC at Port Said for 10 days in September re-joining the ICC on 16th September. He served with them for close to a year and was then transferred to the New Zealand Mounted Machine Gun Squadron on 21st July 1918. He was present at the capture of Jerusalem and took part in most of the subsequent fighting. However, like many others he was exposed to malaria carrying mosquitos and on 6th October he was sent to hospital with P.N.Y.D. ie pyrexia (fever) not yet diagnosed. This may have been malaria but he may also have been suffering from Influenza which was also prevalent. In October 1918, the Egyptian Expeditionary Force in Palestine experienced simultaneous epidemics of falciparum malaria and influenza during the cavalry campaign that defeated the Turkish Army. The malaria infection occurred 2 weeks after the advance of cavalry units into areas without environmental mosquito control. Pandemic influenza, now thought to be an A/H1N1 strain, struck at the same time. George died on 11th October 1918 in the Field Ambulance being evacuated aged 28 and was buried on 13th in the Haifa War Cemetery. In New Zealand George is remembered on the Leeston Plaque of the Ellesmere County War Memorial.

 Researched and written by L M Seaton

CWGC Cemetery locale history: Haifa was captured by the Mysore and Jodhpur Lancers on 23 September 1918 and the 33rd Combined Clearing Hospital was moved to the town on the 15 October. Haifa War Cemetery, which was originally part of the German Cemetery, was used mainly for hospital burials, but some graves were brought in from the battlefields. Haifa war cemetery now contains 305 commonwealth burials of the first world war, 86 of them unidentified. second world war burials number 36.

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Trooper George Hansen

First Names:George
Last Name:Hansen
Date of Birth:5 August 1891
Place of Birth:Killinchy, Selwyn
Date of Death:11 October 1918
Place of Death:Palestine
Memorial or Cemetery:Haifa War Cemetery
Age at death:28
User Name:L. M. Seaton
Occupation before enlisting:Farm Hand
Nominal Roll:31/8
Regiment or Service:New Zealand Mounted Machine Gun Squadron
Country:New Zealand
Enlistment details:11 November 1916
Parents or Next of Kin:Son of Charles (Hans Charststen) and Rachel Hansen, of Killinchy, New Zealand.
Service Number:10344
Rank last held:Trooper
Embarkation:6 May 1916
Place of Embarkation:Wellington
Theatres of War:Middle East
Cause of Death:Died of malaria