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Lance-Sergeant 17633, “D” Company 20th Battalion Manchester Regiment.

Died 1st July 1916, age 23.

Buried in Dantzig Alley British Cemetery, France.

Former student of science.


 

George was born in 1893 at Crumpsall, Manchester, the third son of Frederick Gill, a well to do calico engraver, and Mary Ellen Gill. He attended Manchester Technical College to study sciences in 1909-10 noting his employment as an Office Clerk with J.H. Mandelberg, Waterproof Works, Salford (a company specialising in waterproof clothing). The 1911 census shows him to be a calico engraver.

In early 1915 George enlisted into the 20th Battalion (5th City Pals Battalion), Manchester Regiment joining “D” Company and crossed to France in December 1915 to be part of 7th Division. At the opening of the Battle of the Somme on 1st July 1916 the battalion was in trenches in the line at Fricourt facing some of the worst ground on the entire front which a neighbouring unit noted – “The entire landscape was a mass of churned-up earth formed into waves of monstrous, fantastic shapes, full of little holes like a gigantic cheese. It reminded one of a pithead. Or the countryside around active volcanoes. Or the moon seen through telescopes. In such an uneven maze of mounds and hollows it was impossible to distinguish the enemy trench line, or even guess where it was.” The 20th Manchester’s objective on the first day was to capture the Bois Francais. For the attack extra bombers from “A” Company of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers commanded by Lieutenant Siegfried Sasson were attached to the battalion. “D” Company had the job of delivering a flank attack to the East of the wood. It was in this attack and their capture of Sunken road trench that George was killed in action.