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George Blundell was the husband of Annie O’Brien of 68 Adelphi Street, Preston.

During the First World War he was serving with the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment with the service number 11225. On 22nd September 1914, George sailed to France to reinforce the 1st Battalion who had been there since August. His wife Annie appears to have died whilst George was overseas.

Exactly three months after first setting foot in France, George was reported to be missing following the action at Givenchy on 22nd December 1914.

21st – 22nd December 1914 – Givenchy.
On 21st December at 07:00AM the battalion, with 2nd Brigade moved by motorbuses to Zelobes (1/2 mile west of Vieille Chapelle). From Zelobes they marched to Le Touret, arriving about 12:45PM.

Orders were received that the battalion, along with the Northamptons, should make a night attack in order to regain some trenches that had been taken by the Germans on the night of 19th – 20th December near an orchard by LA QUINQUE RUE. It was noted in the War Diary that the information of the enemy’s disposition was somewhat vague.

The battalion left Le Touret at 15:30PM followed by the Northamptons and were led by a guide (an officer of 2nd Gurkhas) to a spot from which it was decided the attack should commence. The men carried 170 rounds of ammunition each.

By 18:45PM the two battalions were deployed ready to advance. A and D Coys in the front line, supported by C and B Coys at 100 yards distance. The Loyal North Lancashires took the right of the line and the Northamptons the left. The whole frontage covered about 300 yards.

At 19:00PM the order to advance was given by Major Powell and the whole line moved forward with fixed bayonets, the companies now being closed up and in two ranks.
After crossing two lines of trenches occupied by the 58th Infantry, with heavy rifle fire they charged and occupied the front line of the enemy’s trenches. After a short halt the attack was continued and another trench about 100 yards further on was captured. The battalion advanced further and was reorganised on a road by the orchard. During the advance 2nd Lieut Ellis was seriously wounded and about 20 men killed and wounded.

A line was occupied, and a reconnaissance conducted about 20 yards to the rear of the orchard. Tools were sent up to the newly held trench an hour or so later. It is written that the night was very wet and cold and the men only had minimum rations.

The line was held throughout the night, but they did suffer some casualties from bombs that were thrown from a German trench running obliquely to their right flank. At 07:00 AM on the 22nd December a Company was withdrawn from the Northamptons line due to the trenches being over-crowded.

Shortly after day break a very strong German attack developed from the direction of LA QUINQUE RUE and by 10:00AM the line became untenable chiefly owing to the enfilade fire (flanking fire) from the right flank which was very exposed.

After suffering very heavy losses and putting up a very stubborn defence, the retirement of the line commenced from the left and about 300 men succeeded in reaching the Rue de Bois.
The Battalion was collected and reformed on Rue de L’Epinette, the Machine Gun detachment cooperating with the Northamptons went up in support and a line was held by them roughly on the line when the attack had started on the night before. At about 15:00PM the battalion was withdrawn and went into billets at La Couture.

The battalion loses from this action were heavy. Captains Smart and Graham killed. Captains (De Cantect), Lieutenant Batty-Smith, 2nd Lieutenant Gilliland were all missing. Captain Hay was slightly wounded. There were 408 other ranks killed, wounded or missing.

On 23rd February 1915 his name was included in a list of the men missing; it was later to be presumed that he had died on 22nd December 1914 at Givenchy. A local newspaper reported his death;

11225 PTE GEORGE BLUNDELL 1ST BN

His next of kin appear to have received his 1914 Star (with clasp), however the British War Medal and Victory Medal were returned to sender.

Private George Blundell is remembered on the Le Touret Memorial.

Rank: Private
Service No: 11225
Date of Death: 22/12/1914
Age: 32
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 1st Bn.
Memorial: LE TOURET MEMORIAL

Additional family information

George`s brother – 23944 Private Matthew Blundell 9th Battalion Loyal North Lancashire Regiment was killed in action in August 1916.

Paul McCormick
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Paul McCormick

Paul McCormick is the creator and administrator for the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment website. Since 2010 he has been researching the soldiers that served during the First World War and sharing their stories on his website. You can contact Paul through the website 'Contact Me' page or on Twitter and Facebook.
Paul McCormick
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5 Responses to 11225 PTE. G. BLUNDELL. L.N.LAN.R

  1. christopher allen says:

    HELLO PAUL,JANET
    Just a letter to say a big thank you to you both for the very detailed information, on brothers George and Matthew Blundell of the LNLR REGT WW1.

    My grandmother did survive and later remarried in 1917 to a Martin O’Brien from Preston. She later died In childbirth in 1926. George, unlike Matthew Blundell is not listed on Preston’s Roll Of Honour which is a shame really but maybe one day as I have requested it, if it is possible. Once again, many thanks for your help on this family saga. One to be proud of knowing, the brothers gave their all, for king and country.

  2. Dave Cook says:

    Hi, this is the first time I have read an article referring to the battle where my Great Grandfather was killed (4173 L/Cpl Matthew Carey), Amazing, but also I can’t help but feel – what a waste of life. My nan never met her own father, he was 37 yrs old and an ex-regular who had fought in the Boer War too.

    • christopher allen says:

      Hi Dave, it certainly has been an interesting project researching family tree. Surprising what turns up. They gave their best!. Must have been devastating for the family’s at home. George was also an ex-regular of 7 yrs. service. I have been to the memorial at le touret which is very impressive commemoration for over 10,000 missing in that sector alone. Its incredible, the sheer scale of losses !!

  3. christopher allen says:

    Thank you for the update of photograph of 11225 pte G Blundell. Amazing !

  4. christopher allen says:

    We remember on this day when in 1914 pte G Blundell gave his life for his country.

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