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George Henry Venables was born in 1884 in Wolverhampton, the son of James and Sarah Ann Venables. In 1901 he was living with his parents and sister Florrie in Park Brewery Street. He married Clara Wesley in 1904, and they went on to have seven children – George Henry, Vivian Wilfred, Gladys Florence, Jessie May, Archie James, Constance Mary and Mabel J. – between 1904 and 1917. By 1911, he was living at 116 Aldersley Road, Tettenhall, together with his wife Clara, son Vivian Wilfred, and daughters Gladys Florence and Jessie May. His occupation was a bricklayer.

George enlisted in the army on 9 November 1915, by which date his address was 9 November 1915. He joined the 18th Battalion of the Military Police and was later transferred to the Military Mounted Police. He was demobilised on 7 July 1920 when he suffered a broken ankle, and was awarded a weekly sum of 8/- for himself and 10/8d for his wife and children until further notice.