George William SAUNDERS
Rank: Private
Number: 285583
Unit: 13th Battalion WELSH REGIMENT
Date of Death: 25 November 1917
Age: 21
Cemetery: Ploegsteert Memorial, Comines-Warneton, Belgium

George Thomas Saunders, a kitchen fitter, and Susannah Singleton had married at St Matthew's Church, Ardwick, Manchester in 1891. Their first child, Lily, was born in about 1895 and George was born a couple of years later. When the Census was taken in 1901, the family was living at 23 New Bank Street, Ardwick and there were two new additions to the family - Harry aged 2 and Susannah, 9 months.

At the time of the Great War, George is thought to have been living with Lily and her husband, Fred, at 62 Brinksway. Their parents are understood to have been living in Blackpool at the time but were also living at 62 Brinksway by the early 1920s.  

George joined the army at Stockport and was assigned to the Army Cyclist Corps and went overseas on active service with Corps. In the early days of the War, members of the Corps acted as despatch riders but also as a form of cavalry being able to scout along roads and, if necessary, engage the enemy. However, as the fighting settled down to trench warfare, most fought as infantry units. It is possible that his stay with the Corps was very brief and that he was transferred to the Welsh Regiment as soon as he arrived in France. His service number suggests an initial assignment to the Regiment's 6th Battalion, before a further move to the 13th.

The Battalion's War Diary contains few details of the day he was killed, noting only that most of the men were providing working parties in the forward areas. They will have been carrying stores forward from the supply dumps. There is no mention of casualties but George had, no doubt, been killed by the explosion of random German shell.

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