George Richard FEATHERSTONE
Rank: Private
Number: 34148
Unit: 10th Battalion SOUTH WALES BORDERERS
Date of Death: 18 August 1917
Age: 36
Cemetery: Dozinghem Military Cemetery, Poperinge, Belgium

Private Featherstone lived with his wife and four children at 153 Wilmslow Road (formerly Long Lane) Heald Green. He worked at Cheadle Royal Hospital as a coachman.

Although it cannot be said with absolute certainty, he is probably the man listed on the 1901 Census living nearby at 60 Church Road, Gatley with his father, William and sister, Elizabeth. This man had been born in Derbyshire and was working on a farm as a cattleman.

He enlisted in June 1916, at Stockport and went on active service on 8 November that year. On 31 July 1917, George would have seen action on the first day of the Third Battle of Ypres (commonly called Passchendaele). On 16 August, the Battalion was back in the front line for a failed attack that was later called the Battle of Langemarck. The troops had advanced across the deep mud of No Man's Land, but found that the barbed wire, supposedly cut by the artillery, was still in place. There was no option but to return to their own trenches. The Borderers were withdrawn to Stoke Farm Camp. The next day, George was mortally wounded.

A now unknown officer of the Battalion wrote to his widow on 7 September:-

"I write to offer you our deepest sympathies in the sad loss you have recently sustained by the death from wounds of your husband on the night of August 17th. It was about 10.30pm when a German plane flew over our camp and, under cover of darkness dropped some bombs, one falling immediately on our Transport lines and mortally wounding your husband. Every attention was given and having bandaged him conveyed him to the Casualty Clearing Hospital [Note: 61A Casualty Clearing Station] close by, where he succumbed to the wounds within a few hours for most part of which he was unconscious. The next day we buried him and two of his comrades who were killed by the same bomb in the military cemetery besides the hospital whither he was borne by a party of his own friends from the Battalion."

(Original research by John Hartley for the Cheadle & Gatley War Memorials website)

   
           
   
     
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