Family story contributed by Sue King, granddaughter
My grandfather, George Edward Garland, was born 13 December 1895 at Addlestone, the son of Benjamin and Matilda (nee Gunner). In the 1911 census he is living with his parents in the High Street and is described as a “Motor Engineer Apprentice”.
Following the outbreak of WWI he enlisted as one of Watney’s Men in January 1915 and joined the Royal Army Service Corps. On the 21 March 1915 he arrived in Egypt and was later moved to Gallipoli as part of the Supply Section. The Surrey Advertiser of 14 August 1915 carried the following article “Wounded Watney Man. Pte George Edward Garland, the younger son of Mr and Mrs B Garland, of the Cottage, High Street, has been wounded at Gallipoli. He is in the Government School Hospital at Port Said. Pte Garland joined the Army Service Corps contingent raised locally by Major Gordon Watney in September. This is believed to be the first casualty among the contingent.” The photograph of George in hospital has inscribed “Souvenir from B A Yanui (?), Port Said, 20-8-1915”. He had suffered leg injuries, one knee cap being destroyed, which left with him a stiff leg for the rest of his life.
Eventually he was transferred to a VAD hospital at Exmouth, Devon. Whilst recuperating there he met my grandmother, Lucy Herd, a local girl who lived on the other side of the Exe estuary at Kenton. He was discharged from the army 1 May 1916 as incapacitated and was awarded the British War and Victory medals and 1914-15 Star. In 1917 he also received the Silver War Badge, all his medals remain in the family.
On 12 June 1918 he married Lucy at Kenton, she was aged 18. He was described as a cycle agent. After the war he formed a partnership with Henry Stanley, an ex Watney Man, running a cycle shop on the High Street. This partnership was dissolved in 1928 and his next enterprise was to be landlord of the Queen’s Arms in Church Street. By this time George and Lucy had two children and had been joined by Lucy’s parents and brother. In 1935 he opened a cycle shop in Byfleet, but remained living at the Queen’s Arms. This venture only lasted a few years and by 1939 the family were living at Crockford Park Road. The 1939 register gives his occupation as “Aircraft Fitter incapacitated”.
The family remained at Crockford Park Road until the late 1950’s when they moved to the Coombelands estate. George’s final occupation was as a dental technician, he died in 1960