George’s parents, Hermann Richard and Jean Werner, registered his birth in 1894 at Tenterfield NSW. George attended school at Tenterfield and served four years with the senior cadets. After leaving school he became an apprentice at the Boot factory at Tenterfield. About 1912 his family moved to the Inverell District.
George enlisted in November 1915, agreeing to serve from 12 January 1916. This was the day he joined with the men of The First Contingent of The Kurrajongs when they departed Inverell for camp. He became a member of the 33rd Battalion which trained Armidale and Rutherford prior to sailing from Australia in May 1916. Nine weeks later they arrived in England where further training was undertaken before the Battalion was sent to France in November.
George was promoted to Sergeant, then Company Sergeant Major in July 1917. At the beginning of 1918 he had two weeks leave in England. He was wounded in action when hit in the stomach by a bullet on 30 May 1918 at Hangard Wood, France and died the following day. He was buried at St Sever Cemetery, Rouen, France. His personal effects including letters, wallet, watch, medal ribbon and badges were returned to his mother.
CSM Werner was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal ‘For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty on 12 October 1917 near Passchendale’. He went in search of wounded and despite heavy shell fire brought in two wounded men. He was also responsible for reorganising his Company which had suffered heavy casualties, displaying ‘great courage, coolness and determination’.
CSM Werner is remembered at Inverell where his name is inscribed on the town’s Honor Roll and the Cenotaph. He was one of 215 men for whom a memorial tree was planted in 1919 in Kurrajong Parade.