George was one of the four Long brothers who fought in the War. Only Walter would come home. George was the first to die. No doubt still grieving, two months later would come the news that Leonard had died. Their older brother, Joseph, would die in May 1917.
Joseph and Emma Long originated from Hanley in Staffordshire where Joseph had earned his living selling mineral water. Their first five children were born there - Leonard in about 1890. Shortly after this, they moved to Heaton Norris where Walter and George were born. When the Census was taken in 1901, they had moved back to Hanley and were living at 6 Wellington Terrace. A later move brought them back to Stockport where the family home became 21 Gradwell Street.
His original service number, 3063, indicates he originally enlisted into the local Territorial Battalion - the 6th Cheshires - in the early part of 1915. Shortly after this, he married Marion Lawton at St Mary's Church and they are thought to have set up home at 9 Waterloo Road.
The above later 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.