George D GOUGE
Rank: Private
Number: 1816
Unit: 1/6th Battalion CHESHIRE REGIMENT
Date of Death: 12 February 1916
Age: 32
Cemetery: Dartmoor Cemetery, Becordel-Becourt, Somme, France

George had been born in Carlisle but, by the time of the 1901 Census, he had moved to Stockport and was working as a "hatter's shaper", aged 17. The Census also mentions Louisa Gouge, aged 44, who may have been his mother and a Christian Gould, 15, born in Carlisle who was probably his brother.

George had married Sarah Elizabeth and they lived at 25 Mottram Street, Wellington Road South, with their four children. He was probably a pre-war member of the Territorials and was mobilised when war was declared, going overseas in the November. The early months of the Battalion's war service are described here.

Over the winter and early spring of 1914/15, he was one of the many soldiers to suffer from frostbite. In April 1915, he was invalided home with this and blood poisoning. He recovered and rejoined the 3/6th (Reserve) Battalion at Oswestry, rejoining the 1/6th in France during January 1916.

The Battalion had been away from the front line for several months but returned to the front line on 12 February. It relieved the 8th Devons in trenches near Fricourt, some 6 kilometres east of the town of Albert. Two companies went into the front line, with a third just behind in support and the fourth a little way behind that in reserve. The trenches were in a poor state, collapsing through the recent heavy rain. The Regimental History records that two soldiers were killed. These were George and a Private Benjamin Sidebottom.

His platoon Lieutenant wrote to Sarah "I have the very unfortunate duty to perform of advising you of the death on the 12th inst. of your husband, 1816, Private G D Gouge, who was killed by a piece of shrapnel from a German shell and his death must have been instantaneous as he was hit in the head. We only hope that you can find some comfort in the thought that he met his end bravely as a soldier fighting for his dear ones and his King and country."

   
           
   
     
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