Lieutenant Raymond Green

 

 

Raymond Green was born in Sydney, Australia, on 22 December 1896, son of John Thomas William Green and his wife Margaret Edith (formerly Graham).

Green is said to have been a keen sailor, and at the age of 16 he joined the crew of the cargo vessel Langdale, which sailed from Newcastle, New South Wales, in July 1913.

Arriving at Belfast as the war broke out, Green enlisted in the North Irish Horse on 8 or 9 September 1914 (No.1178 – later Corps of Hussars No.71268), overstating his age, as he was not yet 18.

He embarked for France on 20 January 1915 as part of a small reinforcement draft for A and C Squadrons – Green was probably posted to the former. He remained with the regiment in France and Belgium until 1917, when he applied for a commission and was sent to the UK for officer cadet training.

On 27 March 1918 Green was commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant and posted to the 4th (Extra Reserve) Battalion, Royal Irish Regiment, at Larkhill. Soon after he was posted to the 7th (South Irish Horse) Battalion, Royal Irish Regiment, joining it in the field near Oxelaere in northern France on 1 August 1918.

The battalion saw much hard fighting in the Advance to Victory offensive from September to November 1918. Green was awarded a Military Cross for his gallantry during the the advance on Wervicq, south-east of Ypres, on 14 October. His citation read:

For conspicuous gallantry at Wervicq on October 14th, 1918, and energetic and skilful handling of his company. On three occasions when his men were held up by machine-gun nests he personally reconnoitred the positions at great personal risk, and was thus able to surround and capture a great many prisoners and machine guns. Throughout the operations he showed himself a gallant and capable leader, doing the maximum damage to the enemy with minimum casualties to his men.

On 28 October he wrote the following letter home to Australia:

Dear Mother

I am sending along an Iron Cross which I had given to me in a little scrapping a few weeks ago, I only hope it reaches you OK as I really value it – it is what we all class as the best souvenier of all. I hope you are all well and that I am soon back home again - we have been having fairly hard times lately but the news is great. I have not been able to write to you very often lately as we have been so busy (?) Coy (?) this month my Co[mpan]y Com[mander] has just returned so I haven't so much to do now. I will write again tomorrow as I expect a mail from you tonight.

Your loving son, Raymond xxxxxxx

During the early months on 1919, as the battalion rested at Boulogne, Green was made acting captain. He left for the UK and demobilisation on 15 September, and was promoted to lieutenant twelve days later. He relinquished his commission on 21 February 1920, and soon after returned home to Sydney.

In the Second World War he enlisted in the Australian Army (NX94566), this time understating his age by seven years.

From 1933 until the 1960s Green was employed by the NSW Department of Public Works, working as a timekeeper in the Port Kembla district in the post-war years. He died at Goulburn on 31 October 1975.

 

Green (back row, second from right) with the crew of the Langdale

 

Green in 1919 wearing his Military Cross ribbon

 

Green with a fellow officer

 

         

The Iron Cross that Green sent home, and his medals and cap-badge

 

Green on Paris Plage, le Touquet, with his horse Billy in 1919, and a trophy that he won there at a military equestrian competition

 

Images kindly made available by Raymond Green's daughter, Joan Collings of Sydney, Australia.