George Ernest Challands was the elder of two sons of William and Sarah Challands. The family lived on Woolsthorpe Lane, Muston, Leicestershire, at the 1901 Census: this may have been the same house that he returned to after his miltary service, but this is not certain. He was born at Muston in 1894 and died in 1955. He married Agnes Topps in 1924.
William Challands, his father, was an ironstone labourer, born about 1864 at Muston and died in 1953 in the Grantham area. His mother, Sarah Challands, nee Burton, was born about 1865 at Cotham, near Newark: the couple married in 1893 within the Grantham area. George’s brother, their younger son was Walter A. Challands, born about 1896.
George Ernest Challands attested at Melton Mowbray on the 10th October, 1914, and was posted as Private 2843 to the 5th (Reserve) Battalion of the Leicestershire Regiment. He remained in the army throughout the war, and was demobilised, with shrapnel wounds to both feet, in 1919.
He was promoted to Lance Corporal on the 12th August, 1916, and to Lance Sergeant on 18th May, 1918. He fought in the Northern theatre of war (France and Belgium). In his service record it states that he had a ‘Specialist Military Qualification’ as a ‘bomber’.
He had suffered shrapnel wounds to both feet; the date given for this is 23rd June, 1918, and was admitted on 25th June, 1918, at Wimereux military hospital. The injury to his right foot required further treatment in 1920, especially that to the right big toe.
On 14th October, 1918, he was transferred to the 16th (TW) Battalion, York and Lancaster Regiment. When he was finally “disembodied on demobilization” on the 14th March 1,919, his service number was 59811 and he had the rank of Lance Sergeant. In his demobilsation record he is described as a single man, his occupation as a carter (horses).
After the war
The electoral roll for Spring, 1921, indicates that George Ernest Challands was living at Brigg’s Cottages, The Green, Muston. Also at this address were John Edward, Sarah, Walter and William (all with the surname Challands). The roll for Autumn, 1925, records the same people and also George’s wife Agnes at Brigg’s Cottages, Muston.