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George Henry Farrington was born in the village of Croston the second of three sons born to his parents George and Mary Jane Farrington (nee Snaylam). George and Mary Jane married in the July quarter of 1892 and their first son Frederick Edwin was born later that same year. George Henry arrived in 1893 and he was followed by Arthur Robert Alexander in 1898.

In the Census of 1901 George Farrington Snr. is described as a basket maker with his `own account` and he was living with his wife and two of his sons, George Henry and Arthur at Cock Robin cottages on Highfield Lane in Croston. Frederick Edwin, the eldest son was living with his paternal grandparents at Willow Grove in Croston.

Sadly, George`s father passed away in 1903 at the age of 34. In 1911 George Henry, his brother Arthur and their mother were still living in Highfield Lane and all three had jobs, Mary Jane was a warper in cotton mill, George was working at the local brickworks and his brother Arthur was a weaver. George`s eldest sibling Frederick remained with his grandparents and they were living at Lodge Cottage in Croston where Frederick was employed as an enameller for a pottery manufacturer.

On the 11th December 1915 aged 22 years and 2 months old George attested into the Territorial Force of the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment at the recruitment office in Chorley. He was unmarried and had no previous military experience. His medical inspection noted that he was 5`7” tall and was in good physical condition. For official purposes George named his mother Mary Jane Farrington of 11 Highfield Lane as his next of kin. George was allotted the service number 7859 which would later become 243311 and was immediately posted to the reserve.

Upon mobilisation on the 4th February 1916 George was posted to the 4/5th Battalion LNL. The Battalion remained in training in the UK for the next twelve months. George sailed from Folkestone to Boulogne with the initial deployment of the 4/5th Battalion on the 12th February 1917 as a member of `C` Company. During his training he had also qualified as a machine gunner.

The 4/5th Battalion was attached to the 170th Brigade in the 57th (2nd West Lancashire) Division. Early in March of 1917 the 57th Division was moved to the Fleurbaix sector. An Officer of the Division described Fleurbaix as being a “ruined village, though some of the neighbouring farms were intact and flourishing. The church was a mere skeleton and whole sides of some of the streets were in a state of collapse”. After taking over this area, they were informed that the enemy bombarded it heavily and at regular intervals, the Germans using gas and smoke bombs freely. It was here on the 13th March that the Battalion suffered its first casualties when Captain G.B. Hill and four men from his Company were wounded in the trenches.

On the 19th April 1917 George was admitted to number 50 Casualty Clearing Station suffering from scabies and dermatitis and after recovering re-joined his Battalion on the 3rd May 1917.

In June 1917 the Battalion was alternating between billets in Fleurbaix and the trenches in the Boutillerie sub-sector and on the 25th June they left their billets once again to relieve the 2/5th Kings Own Royal Lancaster Regiment in the trenches.

Sadly, George Henry Farrington was killed in action four days later on the 29th June 1917.

His death was later reported in the Preston Guardian.243311 Private George Henry Farrington C Coy 4-5th Battalion

Around four months after her son`s death, Mary Jane Farrington took receipt of some of his personal possessions which included; 1 ID Disc, letters, photographs, 1 pipe, 1 wallet, 1 purse and 1 cigarette holder and case.

George was buried in Rue-David Military Cemetery in Fleurbaix. After the war he was awarded the British War and Victory Medals which his mother signed for. Mary Jane would also have received George`s Memorial Plaque and Scroll in recognition of his sacrifice for his country.

On the first anniversary of his death, Mary Jane Farrington placed the following notice in the Lancashire Evening Post;

FARRINGTON – In loving memory of PTE. GEORGE HENRY FARRINGTON, L.N.L.Regiment, who was killed in action on June 29th 1917.

“Could I, his mother, have clasped his hand,
The son I loved so well;
To kiss his brow, when death was nigh,
And whisper “Dear George, farewell”
Dear George, I shall never forget the words
You said to soothe our pain –
“Don`t worry Mother” was your last farewell;
“I shall soon be home again”

Father in Thy gracious keeping, leave we now our loved one sleeping
From his ever loving Mother and Brothers, Fred and Arthur (in France).

The name of George Henry Farrington is also remembered on the War Memorial in the village of Croston where he and his family lived.

croston war memorial

Rank: Private
Service No: 243311
Date of Death: 29/06/1917
Age: 23
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 4th/5th Bn.

Janet Davis
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