George Gates, killed in a shooting accident during Instruction

George Gates was born in 1881 at Boldre, Hampshire, the son of Thomas and Rosina Gates.   He married Alice Maria Hurren (born in Harleston, Norfolk) in South Stoneham, Hampshire in 1910 and they moved to Witley, living at Great Roke Cottage when George was a gardener for D Dixon at Great Roke.

George enlisted at Guildford and went to France in 1915.  After service in France he was transferred to the 5th (Reserve) Battalion stationed at Windsor, possibly due to poor health as the battalion was involved in local duties and never left Britain.  In November, 1917, he was accidentally shot in the chest at a range of two feet by a Lewis gun during classroom instruction as a live round was left in the gun’s breech.  George was buried in Windsor, rather than Witley.  Alice went back to Harleston after the war and died in May, 1938.  George is also listed on the Stoneham War Shrine.  George was awarded the 1914/15 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.

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One Response to “George Gates, killed in a shooting accident during Instruction”

  1. Miriam Farr

    Great Roke, Witley was the Surrey home of Charles Wolyche Dixon and his wife Agnes Margaret Dixon (d.1918) from 1909 to1918. During the war the house was used as a hospital for the military closing in 1917. In 1924 Charles married Dorothy Murray Pringle and the house was sold in 1927

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