35858 PVT. G. WHALLEY. K.L.R.

 

George Whalley was born in the first quarter of 1889 in Bamber Bridge.  His father was William Whalley (b. 1852 in Bamber Bridge), a cotton weaver.  His mother was Sarah Woodcock (b. 1852 in Bamber Bridge).  William and Sarah were married in 1879 and they had 9 children, though 4 died young: John (b. 1880), Mary (b. 1882), Elizabeth (1885-1911), Ralph (1887-88), then George, then Frederic (1890-1906), Wilfred (b. 1892, died same year), and finally Sarah Ellen (b. 1894).  In 1911, George was living with his parents at 39 St Mary’s Road, Bamber Bridge.  He was a cotton weaver.  The newspaper article says that when he enlisted he was working for Gatty’s at their Bannister Hall works (the company was famous for its production of khaki dyed cloth).

 

George enlisted in January 1915.  He joined the King’s (Liverpool Regiment), and was assigned service number 35858.  From his medal records it appears as if he was shunted around quite a bit between battalions.  He began in the 4th (Extra Reserve) Battalion, but this was probably just for training purposes.  He then went to 18th (Service) Battalion (2nd City), then to the Labour Corps (where he had a new service number, 404391), and finally to 13th Battalion (with his old service number).  13th (Service) Battalion came under orders of 9th Brigade in 3rd Division.  3rd Division was engaged in both phases of the German Spring Offensive, so had taken quite a beating in the spring of 1918.  George was allowed a period of leave, returning to the front in July 1918.

 

The counter offensive began at Amiens on 8 August 1918; this was initially very successful but within a week appeared to be running out of steam.  Haig (in defiance of Foch who had ordered him to continue at Amiens) paused to prepare a fresh offensive at Albert on 21 August.  That day, 3rd Division captured the village of Courcelles-le-Comte and the town of Albert fell to the Allies on the following day and Bapaume a week later.  George Whalley was killed on 21 August.  He was 29 years old.

 

Rank:  Private

Service Number:  35858

Date of Death:  21/08/1918

Age:  29

Regiment/Service:  The King's (Liverpool Regiment), 13th Bn. 

Cemetery/memorial reference: A. 10.

Cemetery:  WARRY COPSE CEMETERY, COURCELLES-LE-COMTE

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