Private George Henry Gale, 202036

  • Batt - 2/4
  • Unit - Leicestershire Regiment
  • Section -
  • Date of Birth - 1893
  • Died - 11/04/1917
  • Age - 24

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Source: Michael Doyle Their Name Liveth For Evermore: The Great War Roll of Honour for Leicestershire and Rutland.
He was the son of Goodsir (George) Gale an ironstone furnace man, born 1866 in Harston, Leicestershire and his wife Rebecca Ann Gale (nee Flowers, married in the 2nd quarter of 1892 in the Newark, Nottinghamshire district), born 1875 in Marston, Lincolnshire. George Henry a schoolboy, was born in the 2nd quarter of 1893 in Normanton, Leicestershire, his siblings were, William Frederick a schoolboy, born 1895 in Wartnaby, Leicestershire, Arthur a schoolboy, born 1896 and Hilda Jane, born 1898, the latter two siblings were both born in Long Clawson, Leicestershire, in March 1901 the family home was at South Side, Ab Kettleby, Leicestershire. In April 1911 George was absent from the family home at Ab Kettleby, residing there was his father, an ironstone filler, his mother and siblings, Hilda, Charles Wilfrid, a schoolboy, born 1901, Ernest, born 1906 and Mabel, born 1911, the latter three siblings were all born in Ab Kettleby, George was employed as a farm wagoner and was residing as a servant at Rushton, Northamptonshire.
George attested into the Army on a Short Service engagement (For the Duration of the War, with the Colours and in the Army Reserve.) on the 7th December 1915 in Melton Mowbray. He gave his home address as Ab Kettleby, his age as 22 years and 287 days and his trade or calling as limestone labourer. He confirmed that he was unmarried. He gave his father, Goodsir Gale of Ab Kettleby, as his next of kin. His medical examination recorded that he was 5 foot 6½ inches in height, weighed 137 pounds and he had a chest measurement of between 33½ and 36½ inches. His record of service began when he joined the Depot of the Leicestershire Regiment as a Private, service number 5891 on the 7/12/15. Transferred to the Reserve on the 21/1/15. Mobilised on the 21/1/16. Embarked from Southampton to join the British Expeditionary Force in France on the 24/2/17. Disembarked at Le Havre on the 25/2/17. Allotted Regimental Number 202036. Killed in action, in the field on the 11/4/17. A summary of his service records: Home Service, 27/1/16 – 24/2/17, 1 year 28 days. British Expeditionary Force, France, 25/2/17 – 11/4/17, 46 days. Total service 1 year 74 days. He was awarded the British War and Victory medals. The following information was provided by George’s mother Rebecca Gale on the 25th August 1919, and was witnessed and signed by J. W. Waite, Member of the Naval and Military Council, Rutland Villa, Abb Kettleby, Melton Mowbray on ARMY FORM W. 5080 (Information on deceased soldier’s family) Father of soldier, George Gale. Mother of soldier, Rebecca Gale. Full blood brothers of soldier Wm. F. Gale, age 25. Wilfred Charles Gale, age 18. Ernest Gale, age 13. Full blood sisters of soldier, Hilda Jane gale, age 21. Mabel Annie Gale, age 8. George’s surviving service documents are in a very poor condition, and much of the finer detail relating to the period of time that he spent in the Army, is either illegible or missing, hence the sparse overall description of his military and personal family history.
On Friday December 22nd 1916 The Melton Mowbray Times & Vale of Belvoir Gazette published the following article under the heading. “LOCAL AND DISTRICT NEWS.” – AB KETTLEBY. – MILITARY. – Lance-Corpl A. Holroyd and Pte. George H. Gale, have been spending the past week end at home. Like their comrades they look fit and well, and we wish them the best of luck for their welfare in the future.
On Friday February 16th 1917 The Melton Mowbray Times & Vale of Belvoir Gazette published the following article under the heading. “AB KETTLEBY” – MILITARY.- Quite a number of our boys serving with the colours have been at home during the past week. Ptes. G. H. Gale and C. H. Wyles, who have been doing duty in Ireland have also been spending a few days at home, and expect shortly going to the front.
The War Diary records: 11 Apr-17 - IN THE FIELD. 4.00pm. The Battalion frontage was extended from FERVAQUE FARM to GRAND PRIEL WOODS SOUTH. “C” Company taking over new frontage.
On Friday May 4th 1917 The Melton Mowbray Times & Vale of Belvoir Gazette published the following article under the heading. “AB KETTLEBY” – KILLED IN ACTION.- It is our very painful duty this week to record the death of the first Kettleby lad in France, viz Private George Henry Gale of the Leicester’s, eldest son of Mr and Mrs G. Gale of this village. The sad news was communicated to his parents in the following official letter – “Territorial Force Record Office, Lichfield, April 24th 1917. Sir,- It is my painful duty to inform you that a report has this day been received from the War Office notifying the death of No. 202036 (old No. 5891) Private G. H. Gale of the Leicester’s which occurred in the field on the 11th April 1917, and I am to express to you the sympathy and regrets of the Army Council at your loss. The cause of death was “Killed in Action.” I am, Sir, your obedient servant, C. F. Ward Jones, Capt. for Officer in charge of Records, Lichfield.” His parents have also received the following letter from the Officer Commanding his platoon – “B.E.F. France, 22nd April 1917. Dear Mrs Gale,- I regret very much to inform you that your son was killed on the 10th inst. He was in my platoon, and although I did know him personally as I have not been long in Command of the platoon, I have been told by his company commander and his platoon Sergeant, Sergt. Blake, that he had a very excellent character in the regiment, and was in every respect a good soldier, and will be missed very much by his comrades and officers. At the time he was killed your son was on patrol with Sergt. Blake and two other men, and he was hit by a sniper, and I believe he died almost instantaneously. His body was brought back and was buried by a Chaplain in a field cemetery. Although I cannot for military reasons give you the name of the place, a record of it is kept, and can, I believe, be obtained from the Home Records of the Regiment, Lichfield. I should have written to you earlier, but at the time of your son’s death I had no details of your address, and letter writing was extremely difficult. Please accept my most sincere sympathy with you in your loss. Yours Sincerely A. Aubrey Clarke, 2nd Lieut. The Leicestershire Regt.” The deceased was 21 years of age, and had only been at the front a few weeks, having served in Ireland during the recent disturbances in that country. He was a finely built young fellow, and looked like making a promising young soldier. He took great interest in his duties, and was a great favourite with all his companions in his platoon. For the past ten years he had been a member of Court Ab Kettleby Reliance of the Ancient Order of Foresters. His death makes the fifth member of the branch killed at the front, and is keenly regretted by all his fellow members. Naturally his parents have been greatly upset by the sad news, and much sympathy has been expressed throughout the village to them in the irreparable loss they have sustained. Miss Lily Morris, of Scalford to whom he was engaged, is naturally overcome with grief, and the sympathy of all goes out to her also in her sad loss. Mr and Mrs Gale have also received further bad news of their second son William, who is also at the front, and is reported wounded. It is hoped however that they may speedily learn that his wounds are not of a dangerous character. A Forester’s Memorial Service in memory of the late Bro. (Pte. G. H. Gale) will be held in the Parish Church on Sunday evening next at 6.30. The Officers and Members of the Court will meet in the centre of the village and proceed with the family to the Church where the service will be conducted by the Rev. E. P. Doudney M.A., the service will be of a special character in memory of the deceased soldier, and it is hoped every member will endeavour to be present.
On Friday May 4th 1917 The Melton Mowbray Times & Vale of Belvoir Gazette published the following article under the heading. “BIRTHS, MARRIAGES AND DEATHS” – DEATHS.- GALE – Killed by a sniper, April 10th 1917, George Henry Gale, of the Leicestershire Regiment, the dearly beloved son of G. and R. Gale, Ab Kettleby, aged 24 years.
He sleeps not in his native land.
But neath some foreign skies.
And, far from those who love him best.
In a hero’s grave he lies.
From his loving dad, mother, brothers, sisters and Lily.
On Friday May 11th 1917 The Melton Mowbray Times & Vale of Belvoir Gazette published the following article under the heading. “MELTON AND THE WAR” – FALLEN KETTLEBY AND HOLWELL HEROES.- IMPRESSIVE MEMORIAL SERVICE- PTE. G. H. GALE- PTE. JOSEPH HEWSON- One of the most impressive Memorial Services ever held at Ab Kettleby took place in the Parish Church on Sunday evening, it being held in memory of the late Bro. Private George Henry Gale and Private Joseph Hewson, whose sad deaths at the front we recorded in our last issue. The former was a member of Court Ab Kettleby Reliance of the Ancient Order of Foresters, and the service on his behalf took the form of a Foresters’ memorial service. To pay their last tribute of respect to their late fellow member a large number of members of Court Ab Kettleby Reliance assembled at the Parish Room, the Court Meeting Room. A procession was formed headed by the Vicar, Bro. The Rev. E. P. Doudney, M.A., and Bro. T. Bates, Court Trustees. On passing the house of the deceased’s parents the procession was joined by Mr and Mrs G. Gale (father and mother), Misses Hilda and Mable Gale, Mr W. C. Gale, and Master E. Gale. (sisters and brothers), Miss Lily Morris (the deceased’s fiancée), and other relations. On arriving at the Church they were joined by Mrs Hewson (mother), Nurse H. Hewson, Mrs Kirk, Mrs Stapleford, Mr W. Hewson, Mr and Mrs H. Hewson, Mr D. Hewson (brothers and sisters), Mrs Hunt (Aunt), and other relations. The whole party were conducted to seats specially reserved for them and the organist, Sister E. Taylor who presided at the organ, played “O Rest in the Lord.” The Church was crowded in every part, taxing the energies of the churchwarden and sides-man to find seating accommodation for the extremely large congregation. The Ab Kettleby Prize Band, under the able conductorship of Bandmaster S. Clait, was in attendance, and accompanied the congregation in the hymns, the effect being exceedingly appropriate. The Foresters’ touching funeral service was impressively gone through by the Vicar, as was the special Memorial Service for those who have fallen in the war. The text was taken from St. Matthew v. 4. “Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted.” The Vicar said they were there that evening as Foresters to give practical illustration of their watchword, which was “Sympathy.” He spoke touching words of consolation and comfort to both families in their sad bereavement in a beautiful sermon which was full of feeling, and after the first pangs of pain are over his words will be long cherished by all who were privileged to hear them. At the conclusion of the service, the band played the “Dead March.” in “Saul,” and “The Last Post” was sounded.
On Friday May 25th 1917 The Melton Mowbray Times & Vale of Belvoir Gazette published the following article under the heading. “AB KETTLEBY” – MEMORIAL SERVICE.- A service in memory of the late Pte. George Henry Gale, of the Leicestershire Regiment, was held in the Wesleyan Chapel on Wednesday evening, and was attended by the members of the family, Miss Lily Morris, the deceased’s fiancée, and a good congregation. The service which was of a most impressive character, was conducted by the Rev. C. T. Lander, of Long Clawson, who went through the burial service and afterwards gave a sympathetic address, speaking words of comfort and consolation to the family of the deceased soldier. Basing his discourse from 1 Timothy vi. 12, “Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life,” he spoke of the sterling character of the deceased who had so nobly laid down his life for his King and country. He was an old and respected scholar of their Sunday School, and was fond of all kinds of manly sports and bore an excellent character amongst all with whom he came into contact. It was a great consolation to his parents and relations to know he lived a most worthy life before he so gallantly offered his service to his country, and he was sure that he was now enjoying that better service to which God in His wisdom had called him. Mr J. Needham, the organist played the “Dead March” in “Saul.” The National Anthem brought the service to a close.

Source: Leicestershire War Memorials Project.
Remembered on the family memorial in Ab Kettleby churchyard, along with his brother Arthur.
Information from S Kallaste, 12/04/23

Image of George provided by J Drury, 10/09/2023.

Leicestershire Project Findings
  • Conflict - World War I
  • Cause of death - KILLED IN ACTION
  • Place of death - Somme
  • Burial Place - Ii G 14, Roisel Communal Cemetery Extension
  • Birth Place - Normanton, Leicestershire
  • Enlisted - Melton Mowbray
Research from Michael Doyle's Their Name Liveth For Evermore
  • Unit - Leicestershire Regiment
  • Former Unit n.o - 24779 & 5891
  • Former Unit - 2/4th Bn. Leicestershire Regiment
  • Cause of death - KILLED IN ACTION
  • Burial Commemoration - Roisel Com. Cem. Ext., France
  • Born - Normanton, Leicestershire
  • Enlisted - 07/12/1915 in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire
  • Place of Residence - Ab Kettleby, Leicestershire, England

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