PRISK, Ralph Carlyle Geoffrey

  1. Service Details
  2. Personal Details
  3. Unit and Rank Details
  4. Notes
  5. Sources

Service Details

Branch of Service
World War I (1914-1918)
Date of Enlistment
Date of Discharge
Place of Enlistment
Royal Military College, Duntroon ACT

Personal Details

Date of Birth
Place of Birth
Mount Barker, South Australia
Address (at enlistment)
Royal Military College, Duntroon ACT
Next of Kin
Sarah Jane Prisk (mother), Hyde Park, South Australia

Unit and Rank Details

Final Rank
Final Unit
6 Battalion AIF


Prisk entered the Royal Military College, Duntroon with the first intake of cadets on 22 June 1911. He was a member of the guard of honour at the Canberra commencement ceremony on 12 March 1913. He graduated early from RMC, along with his classmates, on 14 August 1914 and was appointed as a Lieutenant in the 6th Battalion, embarking for Egypt in October 1914. Bean provides a description of Prisk's approach to Gallipoli on 25 April 1915. "The boats of the 6th from the Galeka found the shells of this battery bursting overhead during the last 200 yards to the shore. The soldiers were rowing; the officers were in bows or stern. 'Now then - all together!' shouted Lieutenant Prisk to his boat-load, as if coaching an awkward crew for a boat race. The oars dipped three or four times in fair rhythm. Then - crack overhead - a scatter of shrapnel and the coaching had to begin over again."

After landing Prisk led his men southwards along Bolton Ridge before turning to the east where he reached Pine Ridge. To his right he could see down the valley to Gaba Tepe, but he was ahead of the main Australian advance and unfortunately he and his men were fired upon in the rear. Prisk had to retreat to Bolton's Ridge where he was ordered to dig in on the Wheatfield. There they were subject to bombardment from the Turkish artillery and without a field of fire they advanced again towards a position known as the Knife Edge in the rear of Pine Ridge. At around 5.30pm the Turks attacked the position and "Prisk stood up to point at a Turk in the pine scrub, when the Turk fired and hit him." Though seriously wounded Prisk and his men held on till nightfall when they retired to the 8th Battalion lines on Lone Pine.

After being treated in Malta and England, Prisk returned to Gallipoli having been promoted to the rank of Captain. During the fighting on 7 August, the 6th Battalion were involved in a feint attacking Steele's Post towards the Turk held German Officers' Trench. Prisk was leading the main attack of 250 men but when he exited the underground firing line to begin the charge "a line of rifles was blazing like a fire along the whole front of German Officers' Trench." Prisk was immediately hit in both arms, resulting in the loss of power in his right arm and the end of his active service in the war. Prisk married in 1923 and served in World War 2. He died in 1960 in Melbourne.

Description - height 5 feet 4½ inches, weight 144 pounds, chest 34-37 inches, Catholic.


Charles Bean, 'Official History of Australia in the War of 1914-18' (Vol. I, p.368, 407, 408-11, 413-17, 421-22, 424, Vol. II p.602-603)
Colonel J.E. Lee, 'Duntroon: The Royal Military College of Australia 1911-1946', 1952
AWM Collections Record : A01174, A04160
NAA RecordSearch - Series B2455 (First Australian Imperial Force Personnel Dossiers, 1914-1920)
Stories from the ACT Memorial, 'The Honour Guard at the Canberra Commencement Ceremony', ACT Heritage Library

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R.C.G. Prisk

R.C.G. Prisk

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