Rank: Private
Number: 18765
Unit: 8th Battalion CHESHIRE Regiment
Date of Death: 5 April 1916
Age: 23
Cemetery: Basra Memorial, Iraq

George's parents, John Thomas and Elizabeth Alice Phillips, lived at 12 Lockside, Marple and he lived there with his brothers, Benjamin & Ernest and their sister, Matilda. In the summer of 1908, Matilda married a friend of her brothers, Arthur Lovelock. Sometime after this, George, Benjamin and Arthur emigrated to Canada. It's not known if Matilda accompanied them.

When war was declared, on 4 August 1914, the men decided to return to Britain to join up, at Hyde, and George's service number indicates this was in November or December 1914. Ernest Phillips also enlisted and is believed to have served with the Cheshire Regiment.

After training, the Battalion went overseas to go into action in the ill-fated Gallipoli campaign in Turkey. George was reported to have been wounded there whilst they were in positions known as Russell's Top and Monash Gully. He seems to have quickly recovered and rejoined his unit.

After the failure of the campaign, the British troops were evacuated from the peninsula in late December 1915 and early January 1916. The Cheshires were moved to Port Said, Egypt, where the formed part of the defences of the Suez canal.

By the end of February, they moved to the Mesopotamia theatre of the War (modern day Iraq), The campaign was already a costly failure with the main expeditionary forced besieged in the city of Kut-Al-Amara. Several attempts had been made to rescue the garrison and another attempt was scheduled for early April. Click here for details.

News of George's death would have quickly reached Marple. And more bad news would arrive in November 1917 when it was learnt that Ben had also been killed.

Further information about George, including a photograph, can be found in the book "Remembered" by P Clarke, A Cook and J Bintliff.

Arthur Lovelock and Ernest Phillips are believed to have survived the War. Ernest undertook an unknown act of bravery for which he received the Military Medal. He is presumed to be the E Phillips, service number 17681, recorded in the honours list of the regimental history.

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