George Harry Purton was born in 1892 in Boxmoor near Hemel Hempstead, Herts. His father was Harry Purton and Sarah Ann, nee Luck. In 1901 the family were living in Rugby, at 76 Oxford Street and Harry was a Railway Brakesman. At the age of eight, George was the eldest of three children.
By 1911 George was missing from the family home at 125 Oxford Street, but brother Ernest William (13) and sisters Rose Beatrice (10) and Violet May (8) were with their parents. Two other children had died. Harry was still working on the railway, as a pointsman.
George Harry Purton signed up at the start of the war, together with his brother Ernest William. Both worked for B.T H., George in the Foundry Department, and both joined the Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry. George Harry became Lance Corporal, number 10442.
He died on 6th August 1916 and was buried at Corbie Communal Cemetery Extension. Corbie was about 20 kilometres behind the front when Commonwealth forces took over the line from Berles-au-Bois southward to the Somme in July 1915. The town immediately became a medical centre, with Nos 5 and 21 Casualty Clearing Stations based at La Neuville (the suburb across the Ancre) until October 1916 and April 1917 respectively. In November 1916 the front moved east, but the German advance in the Spring of 1918 came within 10 kilometres of the town and brought with it field ambulances of the 47th Division and the 12th Australian Field Ambulance.
The communal cemetery was used for burials until May 1916, when the plot set aside was filled and the extension opened. The majority of the graves in the extension are of officers and men who died of wounds in the 1916 Battle of the Somme. The remainder relate to the fighting of 1918.
George Harry Purton is also remembered on the B.T.H. memorial.
RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM