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George Reynolds was born on 1 September 1893 in Wolverhampton. In 1901, he was living with his parents, Henry and Emily, at 21 Albion Street, alongside his sister Mary, brother William and two boarders, Ellen and Rosey Reynolds. By 1911 he was living with his brother Thomas at 4 Bilston Street, together with his sister-in-law Ellen, nephew Henry, sister Rosy and four boarders – Lizzie Cocking, Tom Clavery, Arthur Clarke and Ben Jordan. By this date George has become an Iron Worker (Scaler) at the Sheet Mills.

On 15 November 1911, George enlisted in the Royal Navy (Number K13270), serving as a Stoker 1st Class. According to his military records, he appears to have had a number of tattoos, including an Indian’s Head and the “Lizzie” ship on his right arm, and a sailor and clasped hands on his left arm. He suffered a hernia in December 1913 when he was serving on the “Cornwallis”, and was invalided out of the Navy on 19 January 1914. He later appears to have joined the South Staffordshire Regiment and survived the war, having been awarded the 1914-15 Star.