George LONG
Rank: Private
Number: 49068
Unit: 1st Battalion CHESHIRE Regiment
Date of Death: 19 September 1916
Age: 21
Cemetery: Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France

George is known to have had an older brother called Walter who also served with the army and is believed to have survived the War. Click here for details of Joseph Long, who is almost certainly another brother.

George and Walter had been born in Heaton Norris and, at the time of the 1901 Census, were living in Hanley, Stafffordshire.  At some point, George got married and he also returned to Stockport. He lived with his wife at 9 Waterloo Road.

His original service number, 3063, indicates he originally enlisted into the local Territorial Battalion - the 6th Cheshires - in the early part of 1915. The above service number was allocated to him around mid-1916. He had probably been wounded or away from duty due to illness and, by the time he had recovered, the 1st Battalion was in greatest need of men so he was transferred to them.

On 18 September, George and his mates were at a position known as Waterlot Farm, in the south of the Somme battlefield. They received orders to move forward to be in support of an attack by other units. It was likely that they could be called on to go into action, so haversacks were left behind and extra rations were issued. The track was very muddy and in a bad state and this slowed down their progress to the new positions south of the village of Ginchy. They started out at 6.20pm and were in position by 10.45. In the event, they did not go into action. The Battalion War Diary records "The Bosche threw over a considerable number of heavy shells which inflicted a few casualties."

The next day, the Cheshires moved forward into positions that had been captured from the Germans on the 18th. Battalion headquarters was set up in a German dug-out which was found to still have 4 badly wounded Germans and many dead. The Diary records that the "situation fairly quiet all day, except for intermittent shelling ".

Sometime in during the two days, George was badly wounded and died on the 19th. He has no known grave which suggests that he died very soon after being wounded, close to the front line, and was buried nearby. Many of these small burial areas were destroyed by shellfire during the course of the war.

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