George Wainwright

royal garrison artillery badgeGunner (Acting Bombardier), 64243, Royal Garrison Artillery, died of wounds, 6th April 1920, aged 26

Born at Ealand on 15th December 1893, George was the second son and one of seven children of Edward Ernest and Mary Wainwright (nee Leggott). His mother was from Belton and father from Crowle. His father was a brewer’s labourer at the New Trent Brewery and the family lived in Bonny Hale Road. George was the brother-in-law of Bill Hill who married his younger sister Edith.

In 1911 George was working as a farm horseman for James Gray at Little Hirst Farm between Ealand and Belton. However when he enlisted with the army on 1st November 1915 in Barnsley, he had become a policeman and was serving as PC 32 with the Barnsley County and Borough Police Force. He lived in Grafton Street in Barnsley.

George enlistedĀ  with the Royal Garrison Artillery and was sent for his initial training to the RGA training depot in Dover. He obviously showed some aptitude for the task as within three weeks, 27th November 1915, he was promoted to Acting Corporal. He was still an Acting Corporal when posted to 47th Company, also at Dover, in February 1916 but had qualified as a Gunner when he was posted to serve with the newly formed 115th Siege Battery RGA on 20th March 1916. The Battery went out to France on 27th June 1916. George was further promoted to Acting Bombardier on 14th March 1917 and Commissioned Bombardier on 20th March 1917.

On 8th April 1918 the battery was near Albert when they were hit by a German mortar attack. George was seriously wounded in his left leg, suffering a compound fracture of both his tibia and fibula. He would have been treated initially at a Royal Army Medical Corps Field Ambulance before being admitted to No 16 (Field) Hospital, Beavais on 12th April 1918.

The injuries to his leg were such that George spent the next few months being treated at Beavais. By 31st July 1918 he was well enough to be sent back home and on 2nd August he reached Springtown & Woodside Red Cross Hospital, Glasgow where he was to spend the next few months of his recuperation.

His leg was slow to heal and unfortunately just as he had begun his recovery he developed pleuro-pneumonia. When he had recovered from this he was finally able to leave hospital along with a discharge from the army as ‘No Longer Fit For War Service’ on 1st April 1919.

Given an invalid pension from the army for his impaired mobility George returned to Ealand where he managed to pick up work as a farm labourer. In early 1919 he contracted influenza and with his lungs weakened from the pneumonia on 6th April 1920, George Wainwright died at home. He is buried with his grandfather in Crowle Cemetery.

Although his death occured within the time period specified for soldiers to be comemmorated George Wainwright does not appear in any offical record of men who died in the Great War. It seems he died to late for his name to be recorded on the Memorial Plaque in St Oswald’s Church but George is remembered on the Barnsley County Borough Police Force Roll of Honour 1914-1919.

george wainwright grave

Grave of George Wainwright in Crowle Cemetery, courtesy Angus Townley/Crowle & Ealand Heritage Society.

barnsley police memorial scroll

Barnsley Police Roll of Honour 1914-1919, PC 32 George Wainwright has been added at the footof the scroll. Courtesy Barnsley War Memorials Project and Chief Superintendent Brooke.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is more information on the Barnsley War Memorials Project at:

http://www.barnsleywarmemorials.org.uk/2014/05/barnsley-county-borough-police-ww1-roll.html