Biography

Birth date: 19 November 1893
Birth place: Australia: New South Wales, Sydney, Enfield
Death date: 24 December 1964
Death place: Australia: Western Australia, Perth, Hollywood
Final rank: Corporal
Service number: 2445 - First World War, 1914-1918
Unit: 1st Australian Infantry Battalion

Sydney-born George "Snowy" Howell (1893-1964) served briefly on Gallipoli before being sent to France, where he was wounded at Pozières in July 1916. In April 1917 he won the Military Medal for his bravery leading a bombing section in an attack.

The outstanding feat for which he received the Victoria Cross took place at Bullecourt, where he single-handedly fought off an enemy counter-attack with bombs, rifle, and bayonet before he was severely wounded.

During the Second World War Howell served again in the army before transferring to the United States Sea Transport Service and participating in the invasion of the Philippines. After the war he returned to Sydney but later moved to Western Australia.

Rolls and Awards

First World War Embarkation Roll

  • Rank: Private
  • Date of embarkation: 14 July 1915
  • Place of embarkation: Sydney

Honours and Awards (Recommendation) : Military Medal

  • Unit: 1st Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards (Recommendation) : Victoria Cross

  • Unit: 1st Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards (Recommendation) : Victoria Cross

  • Unit: 1st Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards : Victoria Cross

  • Unit: 1st Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards : Military Medal

  • Unit: 1st Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Collection Items

Photograph

014474

1943-03-22. NORTHERN AUSTRALIA. THE RAAF BUILDS ITS OWN AERODROMES. THE BATTLE OF THE BISMARCK SEA HAS PROVED BEYOND ALL DOUBT THE EFFICIENCY OF AIR POWER IN THE STRUGGLE AGAINST JAPAN. ONE OF THE ESSENTIALS IN AIR SUPREMACY IS A PLENTITUDE OF AIRFIELDS AND AIRSTRIPS. HUNDREDS OF THESE HAVE BEEN...

014474

044844

VICTORIA CROSS WINNERS FROM THE BOER WAR AND WORLD WAR 1 WHO GATHERED TO MARCH IN THE SYDNEY ANZAC DAY PARADE. BACK ROW LEFT TO RIGHT: LIEUTENANT (LIEUT.) J. ROGERS, SERGEANT (SGT) R. R. INWOOD, BRIGADIER A. S. BLACKBURN, SGT J. W. WHITTLE, SGT S. R. MCDOUGALL, MAJOR E. T. TOWNER, CAPTAIN (CAPT) A....

044844

060620

SATTELBERG AREA, NEW GUINEA. 1943-11-18. SX13571 ACTING CORPORAL G. HOWELL OF COWELL, SA, AND OF THE 2/48TH. AUSTRALIAN INFANTRY BATTALION SEARCHING THE BODY A DEAD JAPANESE OFFICER FOR MAPS AND DOCUMENTS AFTER THE CAPTURE OF THE AREA.

060620

073755

LAE, NEW GUINEA. 1944-06-07. MEMBERS OF THE AUSTRALIAN ELECTRICAL AND MECHANICAL ENGINEERS AT HEADQUARTERS NEW GUINEA FORCE. IDENTIFIED PERSONNEL ARE:- SX4298 CORPORAL M E COX (1); QX26020 CORPORAL G J EGGLETON (2); VX66594 SERGEANT J T KINSELLA (3); NX122006 CORPORAL H A SINCLAIR (4); NX5127...

073755

H19432

Studio portrait of Private George Julian (Snowy) Howell, 1st Battalion. Later awarded the Victoria Cross (VC) and Military Medal. Sergeant (Sgt) Howell was awarded the Victoria Cross whilst serving as a Corporal (Cpl) for "conspicuous bravery" on 6 May 1917, near Bullecourt, France. Cpl Howell...

H19432

J03075

1927-04-25. AUSTRALIAN VICTORIA CROSS (VC) WINNERS WHO TOOK PART IN THE ANZAC DAY MARCH IN MELBOURNE, WAITING TO ENTER THE EXHIBITION BUILDING, WHERE A COMMEMORATION SERVICE WAS HELD. LEFT TO RIGHT: CAPTAIN R.C. GRIEVE, 2ND LIEUT W. RUTHVEN, CAPT J.E. NEWLAND, 2ND LIEUT J. HAMILTON, LIEUT. A....

J03075

J03076

MELBOURNE, AUS. 1927-04-25. AUSTRALIAN VICTORIA CROSS (VC) WINNERS WHO TOOK PART IN THE 1927 ANZAC DAY MARCH. IN THE BACKGROUND ARE THE KING'S AND REGIMENTAL COLOURS OF THE A.M.F. BATTALIONS AND REGIMENTS. LEFT TO RIGHT:- CORPORAL (CPL) B.S. GORDON MM, CPL T.L. AXFORD MM, CPL J. CARROLL, SERGEANT...

J03076

J03080A

Portrait of 2445 Corporal George Julian Howell, VC MM, No 1 Battalion, AIF.

J03080A

P01383.004

A portrait of Sergeant George Julian Howell VC MM. TThis photograph is a portion of P01383.017, a framed composite photograph (photo-montage) presented to Lieutenant John Hamilton VC by Dr Mannix on the occasion of the Saint Patrick's Day celebrations in Melbourne, 17 March 1920. The composite...

P01383.004

P01383.017

A framed composite photograph presented to Lieutenant John Hamilton VC by His Grace the Archbishop of Melbourne and the Irish citizens of Victoria, on the occasion of the Saint Patrick's Day celebrations in Melbourne, 17 March 1920. The composite photograph comprises portraits of fourteen Victoria...

P01383.017

P01383.018

This is a restored version of P01383.017. The original is is a framed composite photograph presented to Lieutenant John Hamilton VC by his Grace the Archbishop of Melbourne and the Irish citizens of Victoria on the occasion of the Saint Patrick's Day celebrations in Melbourne, 17 March 1920. The...

P01383.018

P00843.005

SYDNEY, NSW, C. 1930. A GROUP OF VICTORIA CROSS (VC) WINNERS MARCH (PROBABLY ON ANZAC DAY) BEHIND A RETURNED SERVICEMEN'S BANNER. FAR LEFT (LIGHT SUIT, PARTLY OBSCURED) T.J. BEDE KENNY, GEORGE J. HOWELL (CARRYING BANNER), JOHN HAMILTON (WEARING HAT), FAR RIGHT CARRYING COAT UNIDENTIFIED. (DONOR A....

P00843.005

P02939.019

Studio portrait of Sergeant (Sgt) George Julian (Snowy) Howell VC MM, 1st Battalion. Sgt Howell was awarded the Victoria Cross as a Corporal (Cpl) for "conspicuous bravery" on 6 May 1917, near Bullecourt, France. Cpl Howell climbed onto the top of a parapet and under heavy fire proceded to bomb the...

P02939.019

P02939.020

Corporal (Cpl) (later Sergeant) George Julian (Snowy) Howell VC MM, 1st Battalion receiving his Victoria Cross. Cpl Howell was awarded the Victoria Cross for "conspicuous bravery" on 6 May 1917, near Bullecourt, France. Cpl Howell climbed onto the top of a parapet and under heavy fire proceded to...

P02939.020

P12135.001

Welcome home dinner for 2445 Corporal (Cpl) George Julian "Snowy" Howell VC MM at Correy's Gardens. Cpl Howell is standing at the rear table, eighth man from the left. The menu for this dinner is held by the Australian War Memorial at PUB04344.

P12135.001

Film

Anzac Day March, Sydney, 1938

A Fox Movietone newsreel covering the 1938 Anzac Day March at Sydney. New Zealand contingent arrives. Marches led by a Vanguard of Victoria Cross winners. March ends at the Domain for the commemoration service.

F00174

Heraldry

Fundrasing paper poppies : G J Howell, VC

Three red paper poppies with paper covered wire stems. The base of each flower has a green tag stapled around it. This tag is printed with a serial number and signed in ink 'G. Howell V.C.'. Accompanying the flowers is a handwritten note which reads 'Inverell 9/12/30 Dear Mr Elwin, I am forwarding...

REL/08983

US Merchant Marine Pacific War Zone Medal : G J Howell, VC, MM, United States Sea Transport Service

United States Merchant Marine Pacific War Zone Medal. Unnamed.

REL43897.010

Victoria Cross : Corporal G J Howell, 1 Battalion, AIF

Victoria Cross. Impressed reverse suspender with recipient's details and reverse cross with date of action.

REL43897.001

Pacific Star : G J Howell VC MM, United States Sea Transport Service

Pacific Star. Engraved reverse with the recipient's name.

REL43897.014

1914-15 Star : Private G J Howell, 1 Battalion, AIF

1914-15 Star. Impressed reverse with recipient's details.

REL43897.003

Australia Service Medal : Staff Sergeant G J Howell, Headquarters Eastern Command

Australia Service Medal. Impressed around edge with recipient's details.

REL43897.013

Damaged watch : Corporal G J Howell, 1 Battalion AIF

Small circular steel fob watch with white enamelled face and brass winding/adjustment crown. The face is printed with black roman numerals and minute graduations, and includes (where the numeral VI would be located) an inset sweep dial for seconds, graduated 10 to 60. The hand for this inset dial...

RELAWM07900

Military Medal : Corporal G J Howell, 1 Battalion, AIF

Military Medal (Geo V). Impressed around edge with recipient's details.

REL43897.002

British War Medal 1939-45 : Staff Sergeant G J Howell, Headquarters Eastern Command

British War Medal 1939-45. Impressed edge with recipient's details.

REL43897.012

Elizabeth II Coronation Medal : G J Howell, VC, MM

Elizabeth II Coronation Medal. Unnamed as issued.

REL43897.009

Victory Medal : Corporal G J Howell, 1 Battalion, AIF

Victory Medal. Impressed around edge with recipient's details.

REL43897.005

British War Medal 1914-20 : Corporal G J Howell, 1 Battalion, AIF

British War Medal 1914-20. Impressed around edge with recipient's details.

REL43897.004

George VI Coronation Medal : G J Howell, VC, MM

George VI Coronation Medal. Unnamed as issued.

REL43897.008

Timeline

Date of birth 1893-11-19 Enfield, NSW.
Date and unit at enlistment (ORs) 1915-06-09 Posted as a reinforcement to 1 Battalion.
Date of embarkation 1915-07-14
Date wounded 1916-07 Wounded at Pozieres.
Date promoted 1917-02-06 Appointed Corporal.
Date of honour or award 1917-04 Awarded Military Medal for courage and devotion to duty while leading a rifle bombing section during the battalion's capture of the village of Dernicourt.
Date of recommendation honour or award 1917-04-16
Date of honour or award 1917-05-06 Awarded Victoria Cross for action at Bullecourt, France whilst serving with 1 Battalion, 1 Brigade, 1 Division as a Corporal
Date wounded 1917-05-06
Date of recommendation honour or award 1917-05-14
Date of discharge 1918-06-05
Other 1944-08 Joined the United States Sea Transport Service.
Date of death 1964-12-24