George was born at Tooloona Station, Yallaroi, north west of Inverell. He was a twenty two year old Labourer at Coolatai when he enlisted at Inverell in January 1916. As one of the First Contingent of The Kurrajongs, he took part in their recruiting march to the Narrabri camp.
He became a member of the 33rd Battalion which trained at Armidale and Rutherford prior to leaving Australia on HMAT A74 Marathon in May 1916. Following arrival in England, and during training with the Third Division at Salisbury Plain, he was appointed Lance Corporal and then Corporal. In November the Battalion transferred to France and endured one of the coldest winters experienced there. At the beginning of 1917 George required hospitalisation for treatment for pneumonia and then bronchitis. He was promoted to Lance Sergeant in April and Killed in Action at Messines, Belgium on 7 June 1917.
Lance Sergeant George Albert Cawkwell was buried at Toronto Avenue Cemetery, Ploegsteert, Belgium. After the War his friend Hector Clarke arranged for the making of an Honor Roll at Coolatai in memory of his fellow Kurrajongs, George Cawkwell and Jesse Judge. The Inverell Cenotaph bears his name and a memorial tree was planted for George in Kurrajong Parade.
Photo: Private family collection