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George Brindle was born in Preston in 1887 to William and Mary Brindle (nee Derbyshire). William and Mary married in Preston in 1874 and they had another three sons and five daughters although one daughter passed away at three years old. The others being;

  • Thomas (1874)
  • Margaret Ellen (1876)
  • Ann (1878)
  • Agnes (1881-1884)
  • Elizabeth (1882)
  • William (1884)
  • Joseph (1890)
  • Agnes (1892)

In 1891 the family was living at 16 Heysham Street in Preston where George`s father was employed as a biscuit baker in one of the local biscuit works. George`s eldest brother Thomas was a cart driver and his two older sisters Margaret and Ann both worked in a cotton mill while George and his younger siblings were all still at school.

Sadly, George`s father William passed away in 1892 at the age of 39 and in 1901 his widow Mary and all the children apart from the eldest Thomas were still living at the same address in Heysham Street in Preston. Mary`s eldest son Thomas had married Eliza Leach in 1898 at St. Paul`s Church in Marton near Blackpool and the couple had set up home in Blackpool.

In early 1910 George married Mary Agnes Mansley in Preston and a son Joseph was born later the same year.

George enlisted into the Territorial Force on the 18th May 1914 and after the outbreak of war he was one of the many who signed their agreement to serve abroad on the 7th August 1914 at Preston. He was 26 years old and quite a tall chap standing at five feet ten inches. He also confirmed that he had previously been working as a labourer in a cotton mill.

Sadly, George`s wife passed away in the March quarter of 1915 aged just 23 years old. A few weeks later on the 4th May 1915 George sailed to France with the 1/4th Battalion leaving his 5 year old son Joseph in the care of his Grandmother Mary Brindle at 16 Heysham Street.

On the 29th May 1915 during the 1/4th Battalion`s first spell in the trenches George received a gun-shot wound to his head. He was sent back to England and spent forty three days being treated for his wounds in the King George`s Hospital in London. Several months later and having made a full recovery he returned to France on the 10th February 1916 and re-joined his Battalion on the 2nd March.

Early in February 1916 prior to George`s return to the front, the Battalion had left Airaines, the 55th Division had been detailed to relieve the 88th French Division who at the time were occupying the sector south of Arras, from Wailly to Bretencourt. February and March were uneventful months, the sector being a fairly quiet one and casualties were few. However, there had been heavy snow followed by a thaw and the trenches had become very wet and uncomfortable. During this time and in April and May small reinforcements of Officers and men joined.

Raids were now being organised and attempted more frequently and in the middle of June a special battalion raiding party was organised and practised continually. This party was composed of Captain E M Gregson, 2nd Lieutenants Martin, Roscoe and Walker and sixty other ranks, and on June 28th a daylight raid took place.

Extract from 1/4th Battalion War Diary – 28th June 1916

“On the 28th the raiding party of 3 Officers and 56 other ranks left our lines at the junction of GAMBLER STREET with the fire trench at 5.35pm. The raid was preceded by cloud gas and artillery fire.

This party was working in conjunction with raiding parties from all Battalions in the Division. They advanced by two rushes to within a few yards of the enemy trenches, where they came under heavy fire and were held up. At 5.50pm they established communication with our lines and reported that they could get no further and were suffering heavy casualties. A Sergeant returned and reporting that the enemy were in strong force and further progress was impossible, Major Crump ordered them to retire, which they did in good order in spite of losses which included the whole of the leaders”.

In the Battalion raiding party ten were killed, including Captain Gregson, while 2nd Lieutenant A Martin and 2nd Lieutenant J S Walker and seventeen other ranks were wounded.

George had apparently volunteered for the raiding party and during the action he was wounded. It seems that while he was being removed by stretcher bearers he received a fatal gun-shot wound to his head.

The Preston Guardian later published details of his death.Brindle

The only personal items returned to his family were a rosary (broken) and his identity disc. After the death of his wife George`s mother became his official next of kin and she was later awarded a pension of 5/- per week for his six year old son Joseph.

Mary Brindle also took receipt of her son`s 1915 Star, British War and Victory Medals that he was entitled to, the Military Authorities noting in his papers that the medals should be passed to his son Joseph “when he was of age”.

As George has no known grave his name is recorded on the Arras Memorial to the Missing. His name is also recorded on the Roll of Honour in the Harris Museum and Library in Preston.

His family placed the following notice in the Lancashire Evening Post on the first anniversary of his death.

IN MEMORIAM

BRINDLE – In sad but loving memory of my dear son Private GEORGE BRINDLE, of L.N.L. Regt. killed in action June 28th, 1916.

Fondly we loved him, dear to us still,
In grief we must bend to God’s holy will;
Our sorrow was great, our loss hard to bear,
But angels, dear daddy, will guard you with care.

From Sonny, Mother, Brother, and Sisters. 16 Heysham-street. R.I.P.

Rank: Private
Service No: 1906
Date of Death: 28/06/1916
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 1st/4th Bn.
Memorial: ARRAS MEMORIAL

Janet Davis

Janet Davis has been researching her family history for many years and through this she discovered many relatives who served in WW1. This interest then led Janet to do many walking the battlefield tours with her husband. In April 2013 she discovered this website and volunteered to help. Janet believes that there are lots of stories still to be told, most of them very sad but at the same time they are a fascinating insight into the men, their families, what they did and where they came from.
Janet Davis

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