CWG: Private George Western

Private George Western

George Western was born on 18th September 1881, one of seven children to Alfred and Jane. Alfred worked as a labourer, and the family lived in Taunton, Somerset.

Alfred died when George was only 12 years old, so his mother found work as a hawker to make ends meet. George married local woman Sarah Pinnell in 1900, and the two of them lived with Jane and her younger children, George working as a labourer to help the extended family.

George and Sarah went on to have seven children, and, by the time of the 1911 census, they had set up home in the centre of Taunton, just off the main high roads.

The Great War was on the horizon, though, and George was there to do his duty for King and Country. His service records no longer exist, so it is difficult to pin down any dates, but it seems that Private Western initially served with the Somerset Light Infantry, then then transferred to the Bedfordshire Regiment.

George was assigned to the 3rd Garrison Battalion of the Bedfordshire Regiment. While there is nothing to confirm his activities during the war, this particular battalion were formed in January 1917, and were stationed initially in India and then in Burma. Private Western’s medal records suggest, however, that he served his time on home soil.

By May 1918, George was definitely back in Somerset. He had caught an undisclosed illness by this point, and had been admitted to the Military Hospital in Bristol. Sadly, whatever the illness was (and it seems likely that it would have been one of the many lung conditions that were sweeping the country at the end of the First World War) it got the better of him. Private Western passed away on 29th May 1918 at the age of 36 years old. [The war grave gives an incorrect age.]

George Western lies at peace in St Mary’s Cemetery in his home town of Taunton, Somerset.


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