George was born in the Bredbury area of Stockport, the son of Thomas and Sarah Anne Asbury, 76 Mill Lane. He worshipped locally at St Mark’s Church and attended the church’s Sunday School and Bible Class. He worked at Schofield’s bleachworks, Romiley.
George originally enlisted into the local Territorial Army Battalion – the 6th Cheshires, in December 1915 and was allocated the service number 4223. He saw overseas service with the Battalion but was probably wounded or otherwise out of action for a while. When he had recovered, the 15th Battalion will have been in greater need of men and he will have been transferred to it and given the above new service number. The number itself suggests that this was towards the end of 1916.
On 22 May 1918, the Battalion moved from camp to front line trenches near the Nieppe Forest (near Merville in northern France, close to the border with Belgium). At the time it was a quiet sector and the Battalion’s War Diary makes no reference to casualties on 24 May, saying only that there was “wet weather”. During the day, George was shot, presumably by a sniper.
He will have received treatment from the Battalion’s doctor and then been evacuated to 54th Casualty Clearing Station operating at Aire. Here, military surgeons would have assessed his injuries and done everything possible to save his life. He is reported never to have regained consciousness and died two days later.
The sadness his parents must have felt may have been somewhat alleviated when their other son, Frank, who had been reported missing in action, had written to say he was a prisoner of war and had not been injured.