George Garratly was born in Walsall in about 1888, the son of Josiah and Sarah Garratly. In 1901 they were living at 27 Field Street, Walsall, together with George’s siblings William, Samuel, Sissie H., John W. and Sarah M. George was an ironworker. He married Edith Eleanor Webster in Walsall in 1910. By 1911, they were living at 13 Bush Street, Springfields, Wolverhampton. George became a professional footballer, who started his career with Walsall Constitutionals in 1904, then playing for Bloxwich Strollers and Walsall, before being signed by Wolverhampton Wanderers in 1909. In this photograph, he appears far left in the back row.
George enlisted with the Labour Corps (number 256862), serving from 10 July 1916. However, he did not serve overseas, and was discharged on 8 December 1917 as being no longer physically fit for war service. It appeared that he had a middle ear disease, as a result of measles in in infancy. His discharge notes describe him as “a man of good physique”, but his condition and the fact that he “fits from time to time” meant that the doctor considered that he would be “of more trouble than value in the army.” On 20 March 1919 he was issued with a Silver War Badge (number B142254).
Following the war, he rejoined Wolves, playing with them until 1920, before moving to Hednesford Town. He died in Walsall in 1929.