Although George did not serve during the First World War, he was a regular soldier who had first enlisted with the Royal Sussex Regiment in 1904. He enlisted for three years with the colours and nine on the Reserve and his papers survive in the WO 364 pension series held at the National Archives.
A brick maker by trade, he enlisted at
July 1904 aged 18 years and nine months.
He was five feet six and a half inches tall and weighed 166 lbs. His complexion is recorded as fresh, his eyes
blue and his hair red. His religion is
noted as Wesleyan. He was given the
number 7979 and saw service with the 2nd Battalion of The Royal Sussex Regiment. He was awarded a Good Conduct Badge on 23rd
July 1905 and two years later was placed on the Army Reserve. Lewes,
During his time in the army he remained in
and was discharged in
September 1914. His next of kin is noted
as Mr W Cottingham, England ’s
Brickyard, South Common, Chailey. Norman
There is no indication on his service record why, as a reservist, he did not proceed overseas with the Royal Sussex Regiment when war was declared. Chailey Parish Magazine though, helps fill in that detail. He appears there twice: once in a special list of attested men published in March 1916 and then again the following month. Next to his name the words “medically unfit” are written and he does not feature further.
George’s four brothers all served during World War One and
was killed in 1916 on the opening day of the Battle
of the Somme.