George William Ayres 1894-1917
Research by John Birch, Wrecclesham War Memorial World War I 1914-1919 (privately printed). Typed up (with permission) by Josh Waldron.
Private George Ayres, Service Number 32621, was born in Dippenhall in 1894, the son of Mary and Thomas Ayres of Trimmer’s Almshouse in Farnham. He was married at St Andrew’s Church, Farnham, to Mary Ann Elkins, youngest daughter of James and Eliza Elkins of the Street, Wrecclesham.
Mary Ann was living in the Street at the time of her husband’s death.
George served in the 5th (Service) Battalion of the Oxfordshire and Bucks Light Infantry during World War 1. He was killed in action in France on 3 May 1917, aged 23.
The 5th (Service) Battalion was formed at Oxford in August 1914 as part of the First New Army (K1) and moved to Aldershot to join the 42nd Brigade of the 14th Division before being moved to Cranleigh.
In February 1915 the Battalion were moved to Salamanca Barracks, Aldershot, before on 21 May 1915 being mobilised for war. They landed at Boulogne and engaged in various actions on the Western Front.
George’s memorial is to be found on Bay 6/7 on the Arras Memorial in the Pas de Calais. The Arras Memorial commemorates 34,795 servicemen from the United Kingdom, South Africa and New Zealand who died between the spring of 1916 and 7 August 1918 and who have no known grave.