George was born on 22nd February 1889 in Northfleet, Gravesend to parents Absolam and Mary and first mentioned aged 2, on the 1891 census, the fourth of five children. The family lived at 5 Ida Cottages, Northfleet and Absolam supported his family as a cement labourer.
Ten years later, recorded on the 1901 census, the family, which had grown with another 4 children, lived at 85 Nelson Road, Northfleet. Absolam still worked as a cement labourer and his teenage sons also worked to support the family - Arthur as a watchmaker’s apprentice and Absolam Jnr worked also as a cement labourer. George was then twelve years old and although not mentioned as attending school, was probably a student.
Before enlisting with the Royal Marine Light Infantry, George worked as a butcher - on 6th November 1907 he signed up at Chatham, with the service number 15098 and began his training at the Deal depot. (photograph on the left shows young George while at a training camp).
He was transferred to Portsmouth division on 2nd October 1908 and remained there until 26th April 1909 before being transferred back to Chatham. Once returned to Kent, his first service number was written off and he was issued with a new one - 16154, and he embarked to his first vessel, HMS ENDYMION from 28th May 1909 to 31st May 1911. The full list of his service follows:
CHATHAM DIV - 01/06/1911 - 12/06/1911
HMS AFRICA - 13/06/1911 - 24/07/1911 - while serving aboard Africa it was reported that George was orderly to Prince Louis of Battenberg (when he was Admiral)
CHATHAM DIV - 25/07/1911 - 04/09/1911
HMS FALMOUTH - 05/09/1911 - 17/10/1912
CHATHAM DIV - 18/10/1912 - 07/02/1913 - George married Daisy Search at the beginning of 1913.
HMS LONDON - 08/02/1913 - 17/02/1914
CHATHAM DIV - 18/02/1914 - 30/03/1914
HMS VANGUARD - 31/03/1914 - 09/07/1917
At the time of his death his address was 15 Stone Street, Gravesend where he resided with Daisy and their young son. Cruelly, he was due leave later on in the week he was killed. George was awarded the Star, Victory and British war medals but his records do not indicate that they were claimed by anyone.
He was 5'6" tall with brown hair, blue eyes, with scars on both thumbs and was also known as “Taffy”. He is remembered on the Windmill Hill War Memorial along with his younger brother who was killed the same year, as well as the Chatham Naval Memorial.
(#103 - 232/843)
England & Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1837-1915 - Free BMD
1891 & 1901 England Census
England & Wales, Civil Registration Marriage Index, 1837-1915 - Free BMD
UK, Royal Marines Registers of Service Index, 1842-1925 - ADM 159/187/15098 and ADM 159/126/16154
British Army and Navy Birth, Marriage and Death Records, 1730-1960 National Archives of the UK; Kew, Surrey, England; Admiralty and predecessors: Office of the Director General of the Medical Department of the Navy and predecessors: Service Registers and Registers of Deaths and Injuries. Registers of Reports of Deaths
British Army and Navy Birth, Marriage and Death Records, 1730-1960 National Archives of the UK; Kew, Surrey, England; Admiralty: Naval Casualties, Indexes, War Grave Rolls and Statistics Book, First World War.; Class: ADM 242; Piece: 008 (1914 - 1919)
Royal Navy and Royal Marine War Graves Roll, 1914-1919 TNA Series: ADM 242/8; Scan Number: 0088
Naval Medal and Award Rolls, 1793-1972 Class: ADM 171; Piece: 168
WWI Pension Ledgers and Index Cards, 1914-1923 Western Front Association; London, England; WWI Pension Record Cards and Ledgers; Reference: 061/0254/DAY-DEA
Photos courtesy of Tommy Burgess