Best, Lieutenant George William

No 3 Sqn AFC

George Best came from Hobart, Tasmania, and was a Draper aged 20 when he enlisted in the AIF at Claremont, Tasmania, on 12 October 1916, before being assigned to No 4 Sqn AFC at Laverton in January 1917. He departed from Melbourne as an Acting Corporal on HMAT A5 Omrah on 17 January. After flying training in England he was commissioned in November and promoted to Lieutenant in February 1918 before joining No 3 Sqn AFC on 4 April.

He was killed in an aircraft accident at Poulainville aerodrome on 12 April 1918 when flying RE 8 B3435 with Lt O G Lewis, who was also killed. The aeroplane suffered an engine failure on take-off and crashed to the ground where it burst into flames.

Lt G W Best is buried in Grave I A 20 at Vignacourt, France. His personal effects were being sent back to Australia on the HMAT A43 Barunga (the former German ship Sumatra) when the ship was torpedoed off the Scilly Isles on 15 July 1918 – all 855 invalided troops on board were taken off before the vessel sank, but 5000 packages of effects were lost.

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