George Thomas Freear (Frear)

lincolnshire regimental badgePrivate, 22886, 2nd Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment, killed in action, 31st July, 1917, aged 26

Born at Garthorpe in 1891, George was the second son and one of the nine children of Thomas and Sarah Rebecca Freear (nee Beaumont). His father was a farm labourer from Adlingfleet and his mother was from Garthorpe.

In 1911 George was also a farm labourer and he and his new wife Lilian were living with his parents in Luddington Lane, Luddington. His wife, Lilian Harrison was originally from Burringham, but the marriage was registered at Goole in late 1910 so it may have taken place in Luddington? The couple went on to have four children and sometime before George enlisted in the army they family moved the short distance across the River Trent to join his brothers in Burton-on-Stather.

George attested for the Lincolnshire Regiment at Scunthorpe in late 1915. On 31st July 1917 he was serving with the 2nd Lincolnshire Regiment, in 25th Brigade, 8th Division, when they attacked the village of Westhoek, during the Battle of Pilckem Ridge, part of the Battle of Ypres. The 2nd Lincolnshire’s were in reserve when the two leading battalions were successful in gaining the first objectives on Bellewaarde Ridge. 2nd Lincolnshire and 25th Brigade, then ‘passed through’ to lead the next attack on to Westhoek village. However the resistance here was stiffer and with the failure of the Brigade on their right to advance, they came under attack on their right from machine-guns in Glencorse Wood, suffering heavy casualties.

George Freear was one of the casualties of the failed attack on Westhoek. He is buried in Hooge Crater Cemetery.

Remembered on the Memorial inscription in the Bible of St Oswald’s Church, Luddington, George is also commemorated on Burton-on-Stather War Memorial.