George STOKES
Rank: Private
Number: 11144
Unit: 8th Battalion CHESHIRE Regiment
Date of Death: 16 July 1916
Age: 20
Cemetery: Amara war Cemetery, Iraq

George's home for most of his life was at 102 Love Lane, Heaton Norris where he lived with his parents, Charles and Matilda and his older brother Frederick.

Frederick was a regular soldier and was in India when war was declared. George worked for Bailey's Ltd, Ancoats, Manchesterand but followed in the family tradition and enlisted in August 1914. Frederick's Battalion returned to England on Chritsmas Eve, 1914 and left for France in early January. By then George would have been in training and it's probable that the brothers never had one last opportunity to meet. In May, 1915, the family received news that Frederick had been killed in action. Shortly afterwards, Mr & Mrs Stokes moved to 13 Brinksway Road, Heaton Norris.

Mesopotamia (modern day Iraq) was part of the Turkish Ottoman empire and an ally of Germany. Then as now, Britain relied heavily on oil from the area. When war broke out in August 1914, British troops were quickly sent to the area to protect its interests by occupying the oilfields and pipeline near Basra.  

Conditions for the men were appalling. Extremes of temperature (120 degrees F was common); arid desert and regular flooding; flies, mosquitoes and other vermin: all led to very high levels of sickness and death through disease. Under these conditions, units fell short of officers and men, and all too often the reinforcements were half-trained and ill-equipped. Medical arrangements were quite shocking, with wounded men spending up to two weeks on boats before reaching any kind of hospital. The local newspaper reported only that George had died of "fever". He will have been in hospital in Amara.

   
           
   
     
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