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Lance Corporal George Leadbetter

b 24 Oct 1885 Stafford, Staffordshire

d 1956 Stafford, Staffordshire

 

George enlisted with the Royal Engineers 18th Nov 1915.  He was an experienced telegraph linesman, age 30, married with two children, living in Stone, Staffordshire.  He was promoted from a Sapper to Lance Corporal in May 1916.  He embarked to join the British Expeditionary Force with BL Cable Section 6th June 1916.  He was attached to 4th Army H.Q. Signals on 16th June 1916.

The 4th Army was a field army mainly of civilian volunteer 'pals' regiments & those who had risen to Kitcheners rallying cry to join up, that formed part of the British Expeditionary Force during the First World War.  It was formed on 5th Feb 1916 under the command of General Sir Henry Rawlinson to carry out the main British contribution to the Battle of the Somme. By 1916 the B.E.F. consisted of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th & 5th Armies.  During 1917 it was involved in the Flanders offensive (that became the Third Battle of Ypres) & as the Ypres fighting became bogged down the fourth army divisions were drawn off as reinforcements until the army was effectively disbanded.  It was reformed again in 1918.

George was transferred to the 5th Army H.Q. Signal Co. of the R.E. in November 1917, presumably as the 4th army had effectively disbanded.  The 5th Army was continuing the fighting of the battle of Ypres in 1917 when George was attached to them.  Where exactly he was is not known, but there were several battles from November 1917 when he joined them, to the end of the war in which the Signal company of the R.E. were involved,  including the Battle of Passchendaele, St. Quentin, Bapaume, Rosieres and finally at the end the Battle of Mons.

He was demobilized 28th Feb 1919 & awarded the British War Medal & the Victory Medal. George had two children when he joined up but only one when he was demobbed.  Sadly his son George had died at the age of 3 on 18th June 1917 of Diptheria, just 12 days after George had embarked for France.  

HONI SOIT QUI MAL Y PENSE
EVIL TO HIM WHO EVIL THINKS