George Edward HOLLIDAY
Rank: private
Number: 49689
Unit: 9th Battalion CHESHIRE REGIMENT
Date of Death: 21 October 1917
Age: 19
Cemetery: Tyne Cot Memorial, Zonnebeke, Belgium

The family history website, CheshireBMD, records that George's birth was registered at Stockport in 1898. He was the son of Walter (a bricklayer) and Rosa Holliday and they lived at 9 Lockwood Fold, Stockport. He attended Great Moor School and Stockport Sunday School.

His older brother, Albert, also served during the war and survived. He is understood to have married din 1920. His other surviving siblings were Rosa, Walter and Winifred.

The local newspaper, reporting his death, noted that he had enlisted in September 1914. However, his original service number, 2965, indicates a much later enlistment - perhaps as late as mid-1915. The number is also consistent with him originally joining the local Territorial battalion - the 6th Cheshires. The above five-digit number was issued in mid-1916. It is probable that George was sent abroad after his 18th birthday and, on arrival in France, was immediately reassigned to the 9th Battalion and given that number.

By late 1917, George was a member of the Battalion's Lewis Gun Section. This was made up of two-man teams who operated the light machine guns. One man would fire the gun whilst the other re-loaded it. On 21 October, the Battalion was in trenches near Kemmel, to the south of the Belgian town of Ypres (now Ieper). The unit's War Diary records that "At dawn, the enemy artillery was active against the line of posts and unfortunately again blew up a Lewis gun post. The remainder of the day was quiet". His captain wrote to the family confirming that George had been killed by the shell. The officer also said that George had been buried by his comrades. If this was true, then the location of the grave was lost over the remaining period of the War and George is now commemorated on the Memorial to the Missing.

George is also commemorated on the memorial at St Georges Church. Much of the family information detailed is taken from an earlier research project into the men listed on that Memorial.

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