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George was born around 1896 in Galle, Ceylon (modern-day Sri Lanka), the son of William Edward and Sophia Amelia Etwell. By 1911 the family were living in Wolverhampton, at 26 Hilton Street, Springfields. George was a messenger on the railways, and he was living with his parents and brother William Herbert.

George became a Lance Corporal in the 2nd Battalion of the Lincolnshire Regiment (service number 9532), disembarking on 21 August 1914. He was killed in action on 1 July 1916, and is commemorated on the Springfields Roll of Honour.