Rolls of Honour: Eccleshill, Park and St Luke’s; Thiepval Memorial
Regiment: King’s Own Scottish Borderers
George Kitchen was born in 1881 in Bradford the eldest of five children of John and Emma, nee Steel.On the night of the 1891 census George was staying next door to his family with his maternal grandmother Sarah Steel.By 1901, 20-year-old George was a scrapper in a quarry. In 1910 George married Catherine Hart known as Kate and they went to live with his parents John and Emma at 415 Harrogate Road. George was now working as a farm labourer. At the time of his enlistment
George and Kate were living at 2 Junction Terrace, Bolton.George enlisted, probably in 1915, as Private 22735 in the 2nd Battalion of the King’s Own Scottish Borderers. He arrived on the Western Front at Easter 1916 and his Regiment were in action during the Battle of the Somme at High Wood, Guillemont, and Flers Courcelette which involved front line fighting during July, August and September. During this period George was promoted to Lance Corporal.
He died in action on the 3rd September 1916. He was 36 years of age. In a letter to his sister, a Corporal in his platoon wrote “It is with a sad heart I write to you. Believe me he did not suffer much and we buried him just behind the lines. “You have the satisfaction of knowing that he died a hero.“Hoping the Lord with help you and yours in your great trouble. He was well liked by every one of us, knew no fear and did his duty nobly right to the finish.
“You have the deepest sympathy from me and all the rest of the platoon. He fought and died for his King and country”.Although he received a burial just behind the lines George is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial which records the name of the men who fell on the Somme battlefields but bodies were not found for burial. It is likely that his initial grave was never found.He left his effects to his widow Catherine who received £2.10.3d on the 1st July 1917 and a War Gratuity of £3.0.0d on the 18th September 1919.
. Researched and written by Jean Britteon, to whom many thanks