WW1 Medal Groups
WW1 Military Cross Group (Passchendaele) - Officer R.G.A. - Named To George
WW1 Military Cross Medal Group (Passchendaele Action) - Officer In The RGA (previously Dorset Yeomanry Queen's Own, Corps of Hussars) - Named To George
WW1 medal group including, Military Cross, awarded to 2nd Lieutenant Bertram Iilott George of the 23rd Heavy Battery/11th Heavy Artillery Group (Royal Garrison Artillery), formally 1142 (later 40086) Trooper, (from 29th September 1914), Corporal (from 8th February 1916) and Sergeant (from 1st May 1916) Dorset Yeomanry Queen's Own, Corps of Hussars.
The details of his awards are as follows:
Military Cross - unnamed as issued with original ribbon, faster and in a presentation box.
1914-15 Star - This is a guaranteed original ‘blank’ 1914-15 Star, NOT an erased copy - the original is ‘lost’. NOTE: It is not clear that he was actually issued with one - there is reference to a letter on his MIC which he wrote applying for his 1914-15 Star - see below.
British War Medal and Victory Medal named to 2. LIEUT, B. I. GEORGE.
Defence Medal unnamed as issued - I’m assuming that this was for service in the ‘Home Guard’ as this listing also contains a Defence Medal Home Secretary Award Slip and enamel Home Guard Lapel Badge, so it also assumed that he joined the Home Guard during WW2, he would have been aged 60 in 1941.
Also included is a full set of swing mounted contemporary matching miniatures with original ribbons.
Additionally Included, is a printed copy of the Medal Index Card which can also be viewed by clicking on here (if you have access to Ancestry). Georges’ service records are available in the National Archives and can be viewed by clicking on here, HOWEVER A FULL PAPER COPY OF HIS SERVICE RECORDS are included with this listing.
Also included is a paper copy of his Military Cross Index Card; and paper copy of the 11th Heavy Artillery Group war diary for the month of October 1917, which references Lt B .I George (23rd Heavy Battery) being awarded the Military Cross.
The actual war diary for the 23rd Heavy Battery cannot be located, (which is not un-surprising as after Heavy Artillery Groups were re-designated as Brigades, most individual battery diaries were discontinued); and finally, a studio photograph of 2nd Lieutenant Bertram Iilott George in uniform dated 1917.
George, born on the 26th July 1881, lived in Park Road, Blamford, Dorset and trained as an engineer, and just before the war held employment as an Assistant Works Manager at an engineering works in Southampton.
Prior to September 1914, he had served for 4 years as a territorial in the 2nd Hants Voluntary Cyclist Corp. He was called up to the Regular Army and joined ‘C’ Squadron 1/1st Dorset Yeomanry Queen's Own, Corps of Hussars on the 29th September 1914 at the age of 33.
The unit was sent to Egypt and George served with this unit between the 7th April 1915 and 17th September 1916, taking part not only in the Battle of Gallipoli but also in the Battle of Sari Bair and the Battle of Scimitar Hill, before returning to Egypt and taking part in in the Action of Agagia in February 1916. The full unit history of the 1/1st Dorset Yeomanry Queen's Own, Corps of Hussars can be viewed by clicking on here.
In October 1915 George suffered from a ‘septic’ infection and was hospitalised (back to Cairo) until December 1915 after which he re-joined his unit.
Two separate boughts of ‘Enthesitis‘ (a muscle complaint) placed him back in hospital, (this time in Alexandria), in May and April 1916. By this time, his leaderships skills had already seen him promoted to Corporal and in May 1916 he returned to his unit with the rank of Sergeant. In September 1916 he returned to England (sailing on the ‘Royal George’) to enrol with a Cadet Unit to undertake Officer Training.
His service records indicate that he requested a position in either the Royal Engineers, Army Service Corp or the Royal Field Artillery (preferred) and on 21st April he attended the 2nd Reserve Cavalry Regiment attached RFA Cadet School.
He was commissioned in April 1917. His commission, (noted in the London Gazette) from the ranks to an officer in the RGA, can be viewed by clicking on here and he was posted to the Heavy Artillery at Winchester. Afterwards he was serving with the 23rd Heavy Battery (Royal Garrison Artillery) in France.
This unit had been in France since September 1915. It travelled out to the Western Front with the 25th Heavy Artillery Brigade. At the time it was armed with four 6" Howitzers (30 cwt).
On the 5th April 1916, it joined XI Corps Heavy Artillery and on the 20th April 1916 it transferred to Lorings Group of the Anzac Heavy Artillery.
It transferred to 4th Heavy Artillery Group (HAG) on the 14th May 1916; then to the 36th HAG on the 5th July 1916.
In 1917 it seems it was transferred around somewhat; but in October 1917 it was assigned to 11th HAG which was a part of the 5th Army - probably with the Guards Division (based on a reference about being relieved by the ‘Welsh’ noted in the war diary mentioned below) when it was involved in the action that led to George being awarded his Military Cross during the 3rd battle of Ypres - better known as Passchendaele.
Details of the battle can be viewed by clicking on here.
The citation for the award of the Military Cross can be viewed by clicking on here. The award was mentioned in both the London and Edinburgh Gazette, the London Gazette entry, (dated November 1917), can be viewed by clicking on here.
It is not clear from the service records, where George served after this, but by June 1918 he was again hospitalised with ‘P.U.O’ mean ‘Pyrexia Of Unknown Origin’ - Pyrexia being a fever (also known as ‘Trench Fever’) which is believed by some to be the start of the Spanish Influenza outbreak in France before it became a pandemic some months later. His service records contain a number of pages detailing his condition and by the 15th June he had been evacuated to England.
It is not clear whether he returned to active service or not, but his records refer to him being promoted to Lieutenant on the 22nd October 1918 and the records also contain a copy of his ‘Protection Certificate’ that list him as assigned to 115th Heavy Brigade before being demobilised in April 1919 and being placed in the Special Reserves.
In December 1919 there is correspondence to and from an address at Roberts Road, Southampton, relating to him going abroad for 3 years and asking to be released from the Special Reserve, what happened to him after this is not known, other than the fact that he died in March 1959 aged 77 by this time he resided in Poole, Dorset - this record can be viewed by clicking on here (if you have access to Ancestry).
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