Ernest William George

Private 18561 Army Service Corps, then Private 303165 Labour Corps (provisional identification)

Army Service Corps cap badge, WW1
Army Service Corps cap badge, WW1

Family background

Ernest William George was born late in 1877 at Eaton, Leicestershire, and baptised on the 21 Jan 1878, son of John Edward 1851 Eaton, a woodman in 1881) and Louisa (1852, Colsterworth). In the 1881 census, there were three children: Sarah Elizabeth (8), Alice Fanny (6) and Ernest (3). The 1891 census records the George family at South End, Knipton, where John George was employed as a garden labourer. Ernest, now 14, was at work as an ‘iron fitter’s labourer’, and there were three new children, Mary A (9), Wallace (5) and Walter (2).

In 1901 Ernest George was 24, employed as a ‘domestic groom’, one of the domestic staff at The Rectory, Saxelby, Melton Mowbray, the home of farmer Henry Morris and his wife Sarah. In the following decade he married and moved from place to place in the area. However, by 1911, his family had come to live at May’s Row, Muston. He was now 34 years old, employed as a groom at the hunting stables (the Duke of Rutland’s, presumably). He was living with his wife Edith, 29, from Runton, Norfolk, and their two children Alfred (aged 6, born in Croxton Kerrial) and Cissy (3, born in Grimston).

Military records

Few service records have survived for men named Ernest W. George, all Medal Index Cards, and it has not been possible unequivocally to attach any one to the man from Muston. Ernest George would have been 37 in 1914, relatively old to be joining up but not impossibly so, especially as he may well have had specialist skills in handling horses.

Bearing this in mind, we consider that he may have served as Private 18561 in the Army Service Corps, then Private 303165 in the Labour Corps. As such, he appears to have embarked for France on the 25th October 1914 with the British Expeditionary Force, and remained in uniform until 1919 after being transferred to the Z-Reserves on the 29th April. He was awarded the 15-Star, Victory Medal, British War Medal.

Other possible identifications include the following:

Corporal TS-7218 Driver ASC

Pte 8262 Roy Berks, 22368 Ox & Bucks LI, 53810 Northum Fusiliers, for which also a Northumb Fus record of Ernest William George 53810 2nd GSN Bn, Z – Army Reserve, previously 1st Berks and 1st GSN Ox & Bucks.

Gunner 105513, Royal Artillery

After the end of the war

No parish burial record has been discovered for Ernest William George, but civil records indicate that a man named Ernest W George died in Nottingham in 1963.

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