George KING
Rank: Private
Number: 26391
Unit: 7th Battalion King’s Shropshire Light Infantry
Date of Death: 12 August 1917
Age: 18
Cemetery: Anneux British Cemetery, Nord, France

George was the youngest son of Patrick and Maryann. In 1901, when a national census was taken, the family was living at 10 Rowland Street in the Lancashire Hill area of Stockport. George's older siblings were Edward (then 17), Margaret (15) and Joseph (3). Also in the house was Mary Kelly, Maryann's mother.

George enlisted into the army at Stockport and was allocated to one of the Manchester Regiment's Territorial battalions. He was given the service number of 5227 and, after training, went overseas with the Regiment. It is very possible that he never saw action with the Manchesters and was transferred to the Shropshires very soon after arrival in France and, indeed, had probably not been with the Battalion for very long before he was killed.

On 4 August, the Battalion took over a section of trenches in the Beaumetz-Morchies sector. They stayed there until they were relieved on the night of the 11/12th. As they were being relieved, a patrol of the Shropshires came across a strong enemy patrol on the Bapaume-Cambrai road. During the ensuing fighting, ten Germans were killed. Amongst the Shropshires, Lieutenant Hughes and George were killed and a third was reported to be missing believed killed.

The "missing" man was William Poynton - his body was never found and identified. George and Lieutenant Hughes are buried in adjacent graves at Anneux.

In its edition of 6 September 1917, the Stockport Express published an "In Memoriam" notice for George. Margaret King had married by then and was living at 7 Grenville Street. Her husband, Tom, was serving with the army in France. Edward was married to Ruth and they were living at 9 Wood Street. Joe King was also serving in France. He had married Maggie and they lived at 23 Moseley Street. The notice did not mention their parents who had, presumably, died by then. The notice also referred to George's "sorrowing sweetheart, Annie".

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