At the age of forty two, George enlisted at Warialda on 9 January 1916. His Service Record states he was born in Sussex, England and that he had no next of kin. George was one of twelve Warialda district men to join the First Contingent of the Kurrajongs on their journey to the Narrabri and Armidale Camps.
He became a member of the 33rd Battalion, A Company which sailed to England in May 1916 and trained at Salisbury Plain. By November he was ill with bronchitis and admitted to Fargo War Hospital. Upon discharge some weeks later he joined the 9th Training Battalion at Dorrington Camp. His illness continued and he was returned to Australia for medical discharge.