George William Sandell was born on 13th August 1902, the oldest of five children to William and Mary Sandell. While George was born in Chichester, William raised the family in Worthing; he was a carpenter and joiner by trade, and came from a local building family.
When George left school, he found work as a porter on the railways. Too young to be directly involved in the 1914-1918 conflict, he was definitely for adventure, and, on 5th February 1919, he enlisted in the Royal Navy.
Assigned the rank of Boy – because of his age – he was sent to HMS Ganges II, a training establishment in Suffolk. His decision to enlist was set to be young George’s undoing; within weeks he had contracted pneumonia, and he passed away on 10th March 1919. Tragically, he was just 16 years old.
William and Mary brought their boy back to Worthing; he was buried in the Broadwater Cemetery there, within walking distance of their home.
For me, a huge coincidence to this story is that I lived in the house George was brought up in. He was raised at 27 Southfield Road, in Worthing, up until he was sent for training in 1919. I lived at the same address for a number of years in the early 2000s.