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Born: 1884, Sheffield
Died: 15 August 1918
Buried: Bagneux British Cemetery, Gezaincourt
Address: 110 Terra Cotta Row, Eccleshill
Parents: William & Mary Ann, nee Hemmings
Spouse: Alice, nee Gornall
Siblings: Fergus, Minnie, William, Florence, Lily, Athol, Mary
Occupation: Dyer’s labourer
Rank: Sgt
Medals/awards: Distinguished Conduct Medal
Rolls of Honour: Eccleshill Park and St Luke’s
Children: Lily, Henrietta, Kathleen
Regiment: Manchester Regt
George William Frith
George William Frith was born in 1884 in Sheffield the son of William and Mary Ann, nee Hemmings. William was an assurance agent and the family moved around a lot, their children Fergus, Minnie, William, Florence, George and Lily all born before they moved to Bradford where added Athol and Mary Annie. The family were living at 236 Whetley Lane and William was working as a draper and clothier. William died in 1895 and in January 1900 Mary Ann married again to Henry Muhl. Mary Ann and her family went to live at 19 Saplin Terrace and George at 17 was working as a confectioner’s assistant.
On the 28th April 1906 at St Peter Parish Church, George William Frith aged 21 years, a dyer’s labourer of 15, Morningside, Bradford married Alice Gornall, 19 years, a silk spinner of 14 Bromet Place, Eccleshill. The newlyweds lived at 110 Terra Cotta Row, Eccleshill and three daughters were born to them, Lily in 1907, Henrietta in 1911 and Kathleen in 1913. George enlisted on the 7th of August 1914 in the 1st/5th battalion of the Manchester Regiment and eventually rose to Sgt.201736. On the 6th of May 1915 his Regiment landed at Gallipoli and was evacuated on the 28th
December to proceed to Egypt. They landed at Marseilles on the 2nd March 1917 for the Western Front. George was successful in many bombing raids and at some point during his service he was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal, a high level award for bravery, second only to the Victoria Cross. He had served over four years when in the early hours of the 15th of August 1918 he was shot by a sniper and he died at the dressing station before he could be admitted to hospital. He had previously been wounded by a sniper in the arm. At the time of his death he was 33 years of age.
He is buried in the Bagneux British Cemetery at Gezaincourt which was begun in April 1918 after the close of the German offensive in Picardy. He left his effects under the name of Sgt. 201736 James Smith DCM to his widow Alice Frith who received £6.13.4d on the 14th of June 1919 and a War Gratuity of £26.10.0d on the 27th of July 1919. Alice also received an extra payment of £13.6.8d on the 29th October 1919. Whether the name James Smith was a clerical error or whether George had assumed the name is not known. Researched and written by Jean Britteon, to whom many thanks
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