BAMBER BRIDGE IN WORLD WAR 1
30049 PTE. G. FELLOWS. K.O.R.L.R.
George Fellows (his name appears incorrectly on the Brownedge Memorial as Fellowes) was born in the second quarter of 1897. His father was James Fellows (b. 1862 at School Lane in Walton Le Dale), a cotton spinner by trade. His mother was Amelia Kenyon (b. 1854 in Blackburn). Amelia had married Thomas Ralph Turner in 1879 and they had 2 or possibly three children: Elizabeth (b. 1880), James (b. 1881) and John (b. 1889). Thomas died in 1889 and George and Amelia were married the same year. George and Amelia then had two children of their own, Joseph (b. 1895) then the youngest, George. In 1911, Elizabeth had married and moved out but George and Amelia had all the boys living with them at 16 Dean Street, Bamber Bridge. All the boys used Fellows as their surname. James was still working as a spinner and all the boys were weavers. George, at 13, had just started working full-time.
George would have turned 18 and been old enough to sign up in 1915, and he joined the 8th Battalion of the King’s Own (Royal Lancaster Regiment) and was assigned service number 30049. 8th (Service) Battalion was formed at Lancaster in October 1914 and came under command of 76th Brigade, 25th Division. They had landed in France on 27 September 1915 (though George had not yet joined them), and on 15 October 1915 the Brigade moved to 3rd Division.
George would have joined the Battalion during the early part of 1916. That year, his Division took part in the following actions: the actions of the Bluff and St Eloi Craters (local operations 1916); and during the Battle of the Somme: the Battle of Albert, the Battle of Bazentin in which the Division helped capture Longueval, the Battle of Delville Wood and the Battle of the Ancre.
In June 1916, whilst in training for the battle to come, George would have received news that his mother Amelia had died.
Between 18-25 July 1916, the Division had been heavily engaged in the capture of Longueval and the attack on Delville Wood, and had suffered severe losses. In October, the Battalion was initially in billets at Bertrancourt and returned to the trenches near Courcelles au Bois on 25 October. For that day, the War Diary records heavy shelling by enemy artillery and 2 men killed and 10 wounded. Further heavy shelling the following day resulted in further light casualties – one NCO and one man wounded. On 27 October, the Battalion was relieved in the trenches and returned to billets. George died on 27 October, from wounds received in action. He died at a field ambulance near Couin, which is where he is buried. He was 19 years old. CWGC records 8 NCOs and men from 8Bn who died between 25-27 October.
Pitifully, the following year, James Fellows received his son’s belongings including the princely sums (in 2 instalments) of 1s/11d and 2s/3d, and after the War, a War Gratuity of £3.
Service No: 30049
Date of Death: 27/10/1916
Regiment/Service: King's Own (Royal Lancaster Regiment), 8th Bn.
Grave Reference: IV. C. 12.
Cemetery: COUIN BRITISH CEMETERY
It’s likely that George’s brothers also served, but records have only been found for John. He enlisted on 9 December 1915 in the King’s (Liverpool Regiment). He was mobilised on 18 February 1916 and initially posted to KLR a couple of days later. In April he was transferred to the Royal Welsh Fusiliers and in October to the Royal Defence Corps. He remained at home and did not serve abroad. He was discharged on 7 November 1919.