This story was provided by one of our volunteers, Frank Lockley, about his great uncle, who was killed on this day 100 years ago.
George Frederick Poole was born in 1885 in Wolverhampton, the eldest son of George and Rose. He was their second child of eight. In 1891 the family is living in Leicester Terrace, Bushbury Lane, and by 1901 they are living at 80 Lower Stafford Street when George (age 16) is a railway engine cleaner and probably the main family provider as his father had died in 1897.
George enlisted with the Worcestershire Regiment on 26th September 1902. He married Louisa Barnett in 1909 and their son George Edward was born in May 1910. At this time Louisa is shown as living at 100 Coleman Street, the home of her uncle Arthur. At the time of the 1911 census George is based in Jhansi, India with the second battalion where he is a Corporal. Louisa and their son (age 10 months) are in the battalion married quarters.
At the time of the outbreak of war the 2nd battalion were based in Aldershot. They were mobilized and arrived in France on 14th August. The 2nd battalion Worcestershire regiment is renowned for their part in the significant battle for the village of Gheluvelt on 31st October 1914. They were almost the last available reserve of the British defense when they were given the order to counter attack in a desperate attempt to recapture the village that had earlier been taken by the Germans.
The attack was successful but at great cost, 34 men were killed in the action with more than 150 wounded. George Poole was one of those killed, he is commemorated at the Menin gate memorial.
There is a full account of the action at the Worcestershire Regiment’s website.