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Bacchus Marsh
Avenue of Honour

Lieutenant Gerald Thompson Little MC

Service No.:
12th Field Company Engineers
Tree No.:
Planted by:
Major Baird (MLA for Ballarat West)
Image of plaque on tree N145 for Gerald Little
See Notes (1) (2)
Image of Military Cross Image of Service Medal - 1914-15 Star Image of Service Medal - British War Medal Image of Service Medal - Victory Medal

Gerald was born at Bacchus Marsh, VIC on the 14th of January 1890 to David Armstrong Little(3)(4) and Mary Ann Harrigan (or Hannigan). Gerald had two brothers, Leo and David, who are also remembered in the Avenue.

Gerald was a Civil Engineer and Licensed Surveyor when he enlisted at Werribee, VIC in the AIF on the 13th of July 1917, aged 25. He completed his Attestation forms in Sydney and embarked from there aboard the HMAT A72 Beltana in November with the 11th Reinforcements, 2nd Field Company Engineers, joining his unit in Egypt in late December.

In March 1916 he transferred to the 12th Field Company Engineers (FCE) and was promoted to Temporary Sergeant shortly afterwards. Then, in April he was appointed 2nd Lieutenant with the 13th FCE and embarked from Egypt in June.

Group portrait of officers of the 12th Field Company Engineers
click to enlarge
Group portrait of officers of
the 12th Field Company Engineers
April 1917
Courtesy of the AWM

After arriving in France in June 1916 Gerald was transferred to the Engineers Training Depot in England - rejoining the 12th FCE in France in late October and promoted to Lieutenant. During the First Battle of Bullecourt in April 1917 Gerald suffered a shell wound to the buttock and was admitted to the 8th General Hospital, Rouen, France then transferred to the 4th London General Hospital, England, rejoining his unit in the middle of June. Gerald was again wounded in action - shell wound to the back - in September and hospitalised in England for a month before rejoining his unit in late December.

During the Attacks on Dernacourt Gerald is again wounded in action on the 5th of April 1918 and taken to a Casualty Clearing Station where his right leg is amputated. It was for his actions on this day he was awarded the Military Cross.

On the morning of 5th April, 1918 near Dernancourt, Lieut. Little displayed great fearlessness in his work under enemy machine gun and shell fire. He volunteered to assist in laying out and supervising some trenches directly under fire from the enemy, and made specially dangerous reconniassances to inspect the same in daylight. He rendered great assistance to the infantry with his party moving to and fro under shell fire to accomplish it. He set a very fine example to his men and was wounded whilst engaged on this work. On the same day and in the same vicinity, when our line was attacked by overwhelming numbers, and the situation appeared critical, he collected some working parties and details and organised them for defence, and disposed them to the best advantage as a support line, setting a fine example of contempt of danger himself. The C.O. 45th and C.O. 47th Bn. have both spoken very highly of this officer's conduct and work on that date.

Recommendation for the Military Cross

Gerald was admitted to the 3rd London General Hospital for three months where his leg was re-amputated. In August 1918 he embarked for Australia aboard the Karoola, returning to Australia in September. He was operated on(5) again in October at Caulfield Military Hospital, VIC. His appointment terminated in November and arrangements were made for him to be presented with his Military Cross by the Governor General.

Gerald died in Melbourne in 1972, aged 82.

He is listed on the Bacchus Marsh & District Roll of Honour.


  1. He was in the 13th FCE but transferred to the 12th FCE
  2. The post-nominal MC should appear after his name.
  3. David Little was Bacchus Marsh Shire Secretary and Engineer. Also he prepared the plans for Morven homestead.
    - Bacchus Marsh Heritage Guide, Morven Farm, page 103,
    published by the Bacchus Marsh Historical Society
  4. The family moved to Werribee in 1914 When Mr. D A Little was appointed Shire Engineer
    - The Bacchus Marsh Express 18 Apr 1914
    - The Bacchus Marsh Express 24 Mar 1917
  5. The Bacchus Marsh Express 26 Oct 1918

Location of Tree Number N145

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Last updated by lee, Sat, 28 Aug 2021 19:06:03