Rank: Sapper
Number: Deal/1170(S)
Unit: 3rd Field Company Royal Marine Engineers
Date of Death: 25 January 1916
Age: 31
Cemetery: Chatby Military & War Cemetery, Alexandria, Egypt

George had been born in Lincoln but the family is thought to have moved to the Stockport area around the turn of the century. His father is also thought to have died some years before the Great and his name is not known. George’s mother was Jane Dawson and they lived at 66A Heaton Moor Road. He worked as a sign-writer for a firm in the Rusholme area of Manchester. In his spare time he played bowls for the local club at Heaton Moor Park. He was also a member of the Working Mens’ Club. Reporting his death, the local newspaper would say that he was well known in the district as a “good sport and was held in high esteem”.

He enlisted on 8 February 1915 and, no doubt, his trade skills made him an ideal candidate for the Engineers. After training, he joined the 3rd Field Company at Gallipoli on 18 July. By mid-autumn, it was clear that the campaign on the Turkish mainland had failed and withdrawal was the only option. Plans were laid and, from mid-December, the troops started to quietly move back to their ships. The final withdrawal took place on 9 January 1916.

George will have been amongst some of the last remaining troops there. They were working extremely hard to give the impression that the British lines were still fully garrisoned. On 2 January, he was wounded by shrapnel in the right elbow and was evacuated to a field hospital at the beach and then to the Bombay Presidency Hospital at Alexandria. Probably at the field hospital, his arm had to be amputated. It was no doubt a serious blow to his morale bearing in mind his trade. However, he appeared to be doing well in hospital. But these were times before antibiotics and infection could be fatal. George’s wound became septic and he quickly deteriorated and succumbed to pneumonia.

In the early 1920s, when the War Graves Commission collated its casualty information, Mrs Dawson was living at 1 Cedar Grove, Heaton Moor.

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