Rank: Private
Number: 102186
Unit: 237th Company MACHINE GUN CORPS
Date of Death: 2 November 1917
Age: 31
Cemetery: Tyne Cot Memorial, Zonnebeke, Belgium

George Mather, senior, was 46 when the 1901 Census was taken. He worked as a labourer and lived with his wife, Ellen, and their four children at 5 Briscoe Street, Stockport. The children were Elizabeth (then 18), Mary (17), George (15) and Henry (9). George, junior, worked as a "doffer" at one of the local cotton mills. Doffers removed the full bobbins of yarn formthe spinning machines, replacing them with empty ones. It was a job for boys and girls. Ellen died in 1905.

By the time of the Great War, George had married. His wife's name is not recorded but she may have been the Winifred Weeks recorded by family history website, CheshireBMD, as marrying a George Mather in 1907 in a civil ceremony at Stockport. It's not known where they lived as, at the time of George's death, she was staying with her parents at 16 Worrall Street, Edgeley.

When George enlisted into the army, he originally joined the Cheshire Regiment. His service number, 48015, dates this to around the spring of 1916 but he never served abroad with the Regiment. He was no doubt, transferred to the machine gunners when he had finished his training. The 237th Company was formed at Grantham and didn't go overseas until 17 July 1917.

The Company's War Diary is very sparse in its detail and there is not even a mention of the day George was killed. It records that, on 1 November, the Company moved from reserve at Anzac Camp into the front line. Anzac Camp was one of a number of reserve camps in the area around Ypres. As no attacks were made by either side on the 2nd, it is probable that George was killed by enemy shellfire. He has no known grave.

The local newspaper later published an "In Memoriam" notice. This notes that George had another brother not recorded by the Census in 1901. Sam Mather was serving in the army as was Henry. Mary Mather had married Harry Gee in 1907 at St Thomas' church and he was also in France.

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