George Edward McFeeley (or McFeely)
Rank: Corporal of Horse
Number: 2427
Unit: 1st Life Guards
Date of Death: 27 April 1915
Age: 32
Cemetery: Vlamertinghe New Military Cemetery, Ieper, Belgium

There is some confusion over the spelling of George's surname. The 1901 Census and the records of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission spell as McFeely, yet regimental records published after the War and the War Memorial spell it McFeeley. In days when literacy was not at the levels of today, differences in the spelling of names were not uncommon and branches of the same family might spell it differently. As this website is concerned with the Memorials, that spelling will be used.

Daniel McFeeley married Elizabeth Denholme in the late autumn of 1878, at Stockport. At that time, Roman Catholic churches were not licensed for marriages and, whilst the couple will, no doubt, have gone through a marriage ceremony in church, they also had to undertake a formal civil ceremony. George was born three years later and his birth was registered in the Heaton Norris area. Nothing is known of his early life, but by the time of the Great War he had married Catherine.

His service number suggests that he was either a regular soldier or an ex-soldier, still on the reserve, who was recalled when War was declared. He will have taken part in the First Battle of Ypres and was one of the "Old Contemptibles". One of his comrades, with a service number only two away from George's - 2429 - was killed on 30 October 1914.

The Second Battle of Ypres had started on 22 April 1915 with the first use of poison gas by the German Army, which preceded it's infantry attack.  The Germans were still attacking on the 27th. George was not in action the day he was killed. The Life Guards were in reserve huts at Vlamertinghe (about 5 kilometres west of the town centre of Ypres - now Ieper).

The Guards' War Diary records that "During the afternoon, Vlamertinghe was shelled and the following casualties occurred. Killed - 2997 Cpl W Clay, 2927 Cpl of Horse G McFeeley, 2905 Tr R W Westley. Wounded 6095 Tr. E McCullen. In view of this, Brigade moved from the huts to the field ½ mile further south, where they spent the night."

In the early 1920s, when the War Graves Commission collated its casualty information, Catherine had married a Mr Nuttall and was living at "Morven", Corrinol, Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia.

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