Untiring effort to help his men
HERBERT GEORGE WAGG Great-great-great-uncle of Harley Burns
Herbert Wagg enlisted a month after the landing at Anzac Cove and spent nearly the entirety of World War I aiding the Australian war effort, first at Gallipoli and later on the Western Front.
Born in Waterloo, NSW, he spent his pre-war years working as a bricklayer with his father before joining the AIF as a 22-year-old on May 26, 1915.
Wagg was assigned to the 19th Battalion and spent a brief time training in Liverpool and Egypt before being rushed into action on the Gallipoli peninsula, taking part in the August offensive to reclaim Pope’s Hill.
After the evacuation of Gallipoli, Wagg was sent to the Western Front where he spent the remainder of the war serving as the battalion’s company quartermaster sergeant.
In September 1917 he was mentioned in dispatch for devotion to duty.
“This N.C.O has done splendid work in the battalion, both in and out of the line,” the dispatch reads.
“He has always displayed untiring energy towards the comfort of the men of his company.
“During the winter months he repeatedly personally supervised the delivery of rations, hot food and clothing to the men in the front line, under very adverse weather conditions and under shell fire.”
Wagg was never the same after returning to Australia.
His family reported he would often confine himself to his room for hours on end.
He returned to work with his father as a bricklayer and builder and died in 1958 at the age of 65.