George EDGE
Rank: Private
Number: 6240
Unit: 16th Battalion MANCHESTER REGIMENT
Date of Death: 3 July 1916
Age: 22
Cemetery: La Neuville British Cemetery, Corbie, Somme, France

George was one of the nine children of Albert and Clara Edge listed on the 1901 Census. He had been born in the Burnage area of Manchester but by the time of the 1901 Census, the family was living in Heaton Mersey. Albert was gardener to the Leemans, a wealthy family of merchants who lived at West Bank House on Didsbury Road. The Edge family occupied a cottage in the grounds.

George was a member of the lacrosse team of the Heaton Mersey Guild and had played in goal and, more recently, as an attacking player for the "A" team. He had never secured a permanent team place but was often used as a reserve. When he had left school, he had gone to work for S & J Watts & Co in Manchester. The Company was the city's largest wholesale drapery business and had impressive premises at Portland Street (now the Britannia Hotel). George worked in the ribbons department. He is commemorated on the Company's entry in the Manchester City Battalions Book of Honour.

When the idea was formed for new battalions of "pals", George was keen to join up with his colleagues. When he went to enlist he found himself near the front of the queue. He was assigned to No. 1 Platoon, "A" Company. He had joined the first platoon of the first company of the first battalion of pals - amongst the first 70 or so to enlist. Details of the men's recruitment and training can be found here.

He went overseas in November 1915 and the Battalion's first attack was on the opening day of the Battle of the Somme. George was badly wounded in the attack and was taken from the battlefield to 21st Casualty Clearing Station (field hospital), a few miles away at Corbie. There military surgeons will have done all they could for him, but without success.

When the War Graves Commission collated its casualty information in the early 1920s, Mr & Mrs Edge had moved to 17 Greenbank Avenue, still in Heaton Mersey. Also after the War, S & J Watts Ltd erected a memorial to the members of staff who had died. George's name is included and the Memorial can be seen at the entrance to the Britannia Hotel.

   
           
   
     
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