George's birth was registered at Stockport between July and September 1880. The family later moved to Manchester and, in 1901, was living at 27 Devonshire Street, Ardwick. His mother is thought to have died by then but the Census, taken that year, records that his father, John, was aged 59 and worked as a railway carter. 20 year old George was working as a coachman. Also in the house were his older brother, John and younger siblings: Florence (18), Lily (16) and Albert (10).
Shortly after the Census was taken, George joined the army as a regular soldier, serving with one of the Regiment's two battalions. It's not known when he transferred to the 8th Battalion , but it is very possible that, with his experience, he may have been retained in Britain to train the new recruits when the Battalion was formed in September 1914. The Battalion went overseas a year later and George almost certainly accompanied it.
He is recorded in regimental records published after the war as having "died". This designation normally implies a death from natural causes rather than "died of wounds" or "killed in action" and this is supported by his burial at home. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission records George's unit as being the 3rd Battalion. This was, in effect, the reserve Battalion and for George to be attached to it suggests he had been ill for some time and no longer on the strength of his fighting unit.
All soldiers who fought abroad were entitled to service medals and, of course, a much smaller number were awarded gallantry medals for particular acts of bravery. But there were really no British military medals which honoured a soldier for general good service. The army was reliant on awards made by foreign allies for this purpose and George was so honoured. The London Gazette, in its edition of 17 September 1918 (three months after he died), recorded that he had been awarded the Italian "Bronze Medal for Military Valour".
It will have been sent to his wife, Elizabeth, who he had married some years before. In the early 1920s, when the War Graves Commission collated its casualty information, she had remarried, to a Mr Stroud, and was living at 6 Barley Street, Stockport.