Person Sheet

Name Fredrick "George" TIESLER
Death 1956, Wangaratta Age: 61
Burial 4 Apr 1956, Springvale Necropolis Age: 61
Father Fritz TIESLER (1860-1947)
Mother Elizabeth Ann YOUNG (1870-1960)
1 Elsie Isabel CLARK
Birth 1894
Death 1973, Korumburra Age: 79
Burial 10 Sep 1973, Springvale Necropolis Age: 79
Father Joseph CLARK
Mother Helena ADAMS
Children: Betty (1931-)
Margaret Isabele
Notes for Fredrick "George" TIESLER
Fought in the First World War. Rank on enlistment Private
Unit name 13th Light Horse Regiment, 16th Reinforcement.

After arrival in England was transferred to Larkhill Military Camp as a Gunner with 10th Field Artillery Battalion


The most important single school was not even part of the BEF, but was located at Larkhill in Wiltshire. At the beginning of the war Larkhill was not even a school but simply a series of practice ranges that had been established in 1899. The ranges remained in use, and many New Army gunners would fire their first rounds at Larkhill a few days before embarking for France. Over the winter of 1914-15, various Dominion units quartered on Salisbury Plain trained at Larkhill, which led to the first buildings being erected and may also have contributed to the unusual name it received, the "Overseas Artillery School." The first step in creating something more substantial was a February 1915 Army Council order that foresaw the eventual move of the School of Gunnery from Shoeburyness to Larkhill, especially as the Shoeburyness school already migrated to Larkhill for the summer practice season. But in the interim  Shoeburyness continued to operate while the new school opened at Larkhill; doubtless the volume of students to be trained necessitated using both. The faculty was quite small—only seven men—and the course was more demonstrations than hands-on practice for the students. (Because it was only a demonstration course, the faculty never expanded.)

It ran two courses, one for men to be promoted to battery commander, the other for lieutenant colonels who were prospective brigade commanders. The battery commanders had a week's lectures at Shoeburyness and then a week at Larkhill, but the lieutenant colonels spent all their time at Larkhill. Larkhill's staff was of a high caliber, a feature that would remain true throughout the war. The first Chief Instructor was Lieutenant Colonel (later Brigadier-General) Walter Ellershaw, transferred a few miles from Netheravon where he was commanding a school for air-artillery co-operation. He had commanded a battery early in the war, and would rise to command the heavy artillery of three different corps. The first director of experiments (a post officially established only in 1918) had been CRA of two divisions and would return to a third, and the camp's first commandant would move on to be the CRA of two divisions. Perhaps the strongest indication of the importance attached to Larkhill was the commandant during the second winter of its existence. Brigadier-General Bertram Kirwan had been an instructor at the School of Horse and Field Artillery before the war, then an artillery staff officer at GHQ, a CRA during the Somme fighting, and immediately after his winter at Larkhill he returned to France to command XV Corps' artillery until the end of the war, earning Haig's approbation. Larkhill was important enough that Kirwan was relieved a month before the school received its first pupils, as he had to assemble instructors and revise the syllabus. Kirwan wrote a syllabus, which suggests that the previous winter's courses had been unimaginative and old-fashioned; he apparently also had to co-ordinate the split course with Lydd. Kirwan took his duties seriously, and mid-way through his posting at Larkhill he toured the Western Front with his chief instructor, explaining his work and asking for advice. Perhaps because of this profile-raising tour, various CRAs, CHAs, and BGRAs turned up to watch for a few days.

Kirwan made Larkhill a 'center of excellence,' testing various methods of ranging, wire-cutting, and creeping barrages, although some observers dryly noted that school results were better than those experienced under field conditions. Even demonstration barrages would become 'ragged' after only twenty minutes, which suggests that the infantry were frequently right when complaining about short rounds. But Larkhill's experiments worked to improve this, and the range tables were revised so gunners could trust them rather than having to guess what changes they needed to make to handle new propellants and new shells. Better data let the artillery in the field do a better job. The technical work Kirwan did at Larkhill was the basis for GHQ's first series of Artillery Circulars, and after his promotion to XV Corps Kirwan kept at his technical work, circulating calibration statistics worked out from practical experience. The importance of Larkhill to technical gunnery is apparent through the cycle of the "Artillery Circulars." These publications appeared during Larkhill's second season, disappeared during the summer of 1917, and returned when the school resumed; the series then lapsed again until the IGT revived it. While Kirwan was researching and publishing, he found that the troops in the field were not necessarily absorbing his work. Doubtless many gave the Circulars the standard reception for apparently unnecessary paperwork.

Larkhill seems to have gone into suspended animation during the campaigning seasons of 1916 and 1917, but again during the winter of 1917-18 it returned to life with field trials, especially in wire-cutting. One subject Kirwan wanted to study was shell effectiveness—, things like blast patterns, lethal radii, relative lethality, and the like. This would allow officers designing bombardments and barrages to know what shells to pick for different purposes, including the tricky question of the creeping barrage. Opinion differed because it had to perform two tasks: kill or suppress the Germans, but not kill or suppress the British infantryman who were almost as close. It appears this was too ambitious a topic, since no pamphlet on the topic appeared in contemporary publication lists. The closest that anyone came was GHQ keeping a file on the topic, and that was started after Kirwan raised the subject at Larkhill.

After Kirwan's season, Larkhill declined in importance, but largely because he had done so much valuable work. The next commandant, Brigadier-General Sydney Metcalfe, drummed up less publicity for the school (and himself), but very probably the number of students did not fall from the 1,900 recorded over the winter 1916-17. (Kirwan had squeezed in 58 percent more than the 1,200 planned.) GHQ wanted as many officers as possible taught at Larkhill, although the Passchendaele battles kept many officers in Flanders over a month longer than expected. The War Office now believed in the good work Larkhill was doing and wanted to keep it open throughout the campaigning season of 1918, although with fewer students than during the winter lulls, but the pace of the fighting made this impossible. In light of the decision to finally create a central artillery school, Larkhill was revived after the Armistice for the same courses, but only for officers intending to stay in the army.

 Larkhill was also important in the early development of sound ranging, although independent innovators in France had made the key breakthrough. Once the method had been perfected, its operating limits were determined by experiments at Larkhill and then circulated through the BEF. Kirwan seems to have been the first to spot the possibility of using sound ranging equipment to calibrate guns, a critical innovation. Other technical developments were tested at Larkhill, perhaps the most notable being smoke shells, the first batches of which were fired at Larkhill in the summer of 1916. The school's commander was effectively given responsibility to decide from the various experimental batches what the army would use.

Experimentation was a fairly common activity at some of the permanent installations in Britain. Early in the war some field tests were done in France, mainly testing munitions that were performing badly. When the new "Amatol" high explosive filling was tried, many "blinds" (duds) and premature explosions (either in the barrel of the gun or behind friendly lines) were reported, which led to trials outside Calais that confirmed the problem. Results were then relayed back to the Master General of the Ordnance (MGO) in London. Anything done in France, or even at a school, was outside the "usual channels" of the Ordnance Committee, but the MGO (Major-General Stanley von Donop) realized the urgency of the situation and operated flexibly. Officers in the field forwarded their complaints through GHQ to the MGO, where the reports were collated as a first step toward determining the problem. Then over 8,000 shells (no small number during the shell shortage) were fired at Shoeburyness to determine the causes of the premature explosions. The problems were found to be with the fuses and gaines (boosters to amplify the fuze's explosion and detonate the main charge), and the results were reported to GHQ as well as the War Office.

 Another area where schools tried to integrate existing technologies was with aeroplanes. Almost immediately after the fighting began, gunners realized aeroplanes could provide observation and correction for artillery fire, but co-ordination of this activity was sketchy. Many called for the use of wireless telegraphy, but the earliest tests were with simpler methods, such as light signals and pyrotechnics, and took place around Larkhill in early November 1914. (There was also a special artillery-aircraft co-operation school at Netheravon early in the war.) The rapid pace of developments in aeroplanes, wireless equipment, and artillery technique meant that most experimentation took place at the front, but results and methods were frequently circulated to the artillery and the army as a whole. Indeed, over twenty specific pamphlets and notes were issued by the General Staff regarding aerial co-operation in addition to mentions in more general publications. By the end of the war almost all artillery publications dealt with aeroplanes in some fashion.

Finished the war with 10th Field Artillery Brigade with the Australian 4th Division A.I.F in France. The gunners of the 4th division took massive casualties during the bombardment leading up to the Battle of Ypres and AIF headquarters staff officers knew that replacement would be needed on the same scale as that of the infantry units. The 4th Division's artillery alone lost Four officers and 117 men from a complement of 600.
The 4th Division saw more action in 1917 than any other of the Australian Divisions. After the war spent some time in England.
Returned to Australia on the Transport ship Frankfurt after the war on 1 July 1919.

The FRANKFURT was a 7,431 gross ton ship, length 430.3ft x beam 54.3ft, one funnel, two masts, twin screw and a speed of 13 knots. There was accommodation for 108-2nd and 1,889-3rd class passengers. Built by J. C. Tecklenborg, Geestemunde, she was launched for North German Lloyd of Bremen on 17th Dec.1899. Her maiden voyage started on 31st Mar.1900 when she left Bremen for Baltimore, and her first Bremen - Galveston voyage started on 25th Dec.1901. She subsequently sailed from Bremen to Baltimore and/or Galveston. On 19th Sep.1908 she commenced the first of six Bremen - South America sailings and on 10th Mar.1910 started her first Bremen - Philadelphia - Galveston voyage. Her first Bremen - Boston - New Orleans sailing started on 13th Feb.1914 and her last on 29th Jul.1914. On the outbreak of the Great War in Aug.1913 she was laid up at Bremen. Surrendered to Britain in 1919 and sold to Hong Kong owners in 1922 and renamed SARVISTAN. She was scrapped in Japan in 1931. [North Atlantic Seaway by N.R.P.Bonsor, vol.2,p.562]


Took up land for solder settlement on Horsley's Estate, Korumburra South, and commenced dairy farming. retired to Dandenong in his 50's, as without son's, farming had become too difficult for him. To be with other cattlemen from Gippsland as was the done thing at the time. Died suddenly of a massive stroke.
Geroge Frederick TIESLER

Regimental number 2203
Religion Presbyterian
Occupation Farmer
Address Mirboo North, Victoria
Marital status Single
Age at embarkation 21
Next of kin Father, Fritz Tiesler, Mirboo North, Victoria
Enlistment Date 10 November 1916
Rank on enlistment Private
Unit name 13th Light Horse Regiment, 16th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number 10/18/3
Embarkation details Unit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board RMS Omrah on 17 January 1917
Rank from Nominal Roll Gunner
Unit from Nominal Roll 10th Field Artillery Brigade
Fate Returned to Australia 1 July 1919

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