George Penfold

Family story contributed by Henry Pelham

George’s birth was registered in the September-December quarter of 1879, and he was baptised at St John’s Church, Redhill on 18 January 1880.  He lived at 30 Somerset Road, Meadvale, with his parents for the whole of his life.  In the 1901 and 1911 Censuses he is listed as working as a bricklayer, the same as his father.  He played football for Meadvale Rovers and also for the cricket team; but, otherwise, little is known of his life, except that he was remembered with great affection by Maurice and Van Marchant, the sons of his older sister Annie, who lived a few doors down.

George enlisted at Guildford, joining the 2nd Battalion, Queen’s (Royal West Surrey) Regiment (QRWS) with the service number G/4059.  It is not known precisely when he joined, but, given that one of his medals is the 1914 Star, it seems likely that his Army service began not long after war started.

On 1 July 1916, the first day of the Battle of the Somme, the 2nd Battalion, QRWS advanced towards Mametz Wood and Flatiron Copse; early that evening they advanced on High Wood.  It was during this attack that George was killed.  His body was never found, and his name is among those listed on the Thiepval Memorial.

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