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George Allison was born in Preston, Lancashire during the third quarter of 1885, the son of Hugh and Mary Ann Allison (nee Pickup). Prior to their marriage in 1877 at St. John`s Church in Preston Mary Ann Pickup already had a six year old daughter Alice Ann who had been born in Lostock Hall. George had three other surviving siblings; William (1877), Elizabeth (1888) and Lily (1893).

In 1891 the family lived at 15 Inkerman Street in Preston, (the house still standing to this day). George`s parents were both working as cotton weavers and they also had a girl boarding with the family, seventeen year old Jane Sowerbutts from Preston.

At the time of the 1901 Census the family are still living in Inkerman Street and George is now working as an apprentice coach builder/cabinet maker. His father was a general labourer and his sister Elizabeth was a cotton weaver. George`s elder brother William was absent from the family home.

On the 19th January 1904 George enlisted into the Militia at Preston, joining the 6th Battalion Manchester Regiment and agreeing to serve a term of six years. He had his medical at Chorley and the Medical Officers noted that he was 5`4” tall and he weight was 111lbs, he had grey eyes and dark brown hair. George confirmed his address as 16 Inkerman Street and his occupation as a cabinet maker. He served for just over twelve months and was discharged `by purchase` on the 20th April 1905.

When the 1911 Census was taken the family are still at the same address and William had returned to the family home and was working at Stevenson`s Foundry as a labourer. George had now left home and was working away following his trade as a coachbuilder/cabinet maker employed in the railway carriage works in Saltley, Birmingham. He was boarding with George and Fanny Hill and their four children at 62 Alderley Road in Saltley.

After the outbreak of WW1, at Fulwood Barracks, Preston, George attested into the Territorial Force of the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment on the 7th October 1914, given the service number 2819 and assigned to the 4th Battalion.

The Battalion were part of the North Lancs Brigade in the West Lancashire Division. They moved to Swindon in August 1914 and in November were again moved, this time to Sevenoaks in Kent. They sailed to France on the 4th May 1915, landing in Boulogne. The formation then became the 154th Brigade in the 51st Highland Division.

The Battalion moved through various locations before billeting six miles outside Bethune at the village of Locon on the 20th May 1915. There they then carried out training until the 25th May when they relieved the 1/7th Black Watch in the trenches close to the town of Festubert. They stayed in this location until the 9th June 1915 when having suffered relatively light casualties, they themselves were relieved and moved into the reserve trenches.

An attack on the German salient west of Rue D`Ouvert was planned for the 15th/16th June 1915, with the 1/4th LNL and the 1/6th Scottish Rifles carrying out the assault.

Initially, things went well for most of the 15th June with the majority of casualties being down to rifle and machine-gun fire, but later, German artillery and counter attacks became heavy with withdrawal being the only option. The fighting continued at a lesser pace and at 05:00hrs on the 16th June the 1/4th Battalion were relieved by the 1/8th Liverpool Irish Regiment.

The Battalion reassembled at Le Touret where 243 men answered the roll call. Casualties amongst the other ranks were; 19 killed in action, 255 wounded and 145 missing.

George Allison was one of the 145 missing in action and his body never recovered. It was finally reported to his parents on the 6th May 1916 that he was presumed dead on or since 15th June 1915. After his death had been officially confirmed, the local paper, the Preston Guardian published the following details;

2819 Private George Allison

As the body of George was not recovered, his name was commemorated on the Le Touret Memorial on Panel 27/28.

After the war George`s family took receipt of his 1915 Star, British War and Victory Medals that he was entitled to and would also have received his Memorial Plaque and Scroll.

Rank: Private
Service No: 2819
Date of Death: 15/06/1915
Age: 30
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 1st/4th Bn, ‘B’ Coy

Ron Crowe
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