George Henry was born in Daventry in 1899. son of Elizabeth Lines (formerly Maltby, nee Shaw). In the 1901 census, aged 2 and appearing as Henry Bennett, he lived with his mother, named as Elizabeth Bennett, at 8 Rose Court Daventry with two sisters, Daisy and Zillah. There were three older siblings, Herbert, Ernest and Evelyn Maltby. It stated that Elizabeth was married but no husband is listed.
In 1911 he was living as George Lines in Rugby at 15 Bridget street, with his step-father Richard Hutt, his mother Elizabeth, and siblings Hubert and Phoebe Maltby, his sister Zillah Lines and step brother Harry Hutt.
(Elizabeth Louisa Shaw married William Lines in 1881, William Maltby in 1888 and Richard Hutt in 1903. It is not known who Mr Bennett was.)
George Henry joined the army first in the Somerset Light Infantry service number 40590 then being transferred to Royal Berkshire (Princess Charlotte of Wales) Regiment with a service number 48573. He was in the 5th Battalion which was part of the 36th Brigade of the 12th Division. In the war diary’s we read that the battalion was cleaning up and refitting from the 17th August to the 20th August prior to moving north of Morlancourt on the 21st to take over from 6th Queens Regiment. They moved positions until on the 25th the battalion had orders to attack east of Carnoy at between 04:00-04:30 am.
Battalion formed up at 3:30am. The battalion marched by compass for three and a half miles and reached forming up place at 4:45.The barrage was then over. The battalion attacked right and left on village of Carnoy A & B Company’s leading followed by C& D in the rear. A & C on the left B & D on the right held up by heavy machine gun fire on final objective and heavy casualties ensued. Trench was made with London 10 on right but failed to gain trench with 7 R. Sussex on left. Heavy fighting on left flank and enemy after two attempts rushed over and captured a number of our men. 2/ Lt Stapleton killed trying to get away and many men. 2/Lt Tutton badly wounded and died.
From the battalion records they have daily casualty returns and on the 26th august the returns read as follows:
Trench strength 14 0fficers 310 men
Officers Killed 2 wounded 1
Other Ranks Killed 43 Wounded 97 Missing 31
At the start of August the number of men had stood at:
28 Officers and 718 men so this regiment had suffered heavy losses
Private Lines, George Henry, Service No 48573 died 26th August 1918
An announcement of his death was published in the Rugby Advertiser of 21st Sep 1918:
LINES – In ever-loving memory of my dearest and youngest son. Pte J. H. Lines, of the Royal Berks., who was killed in action on August 27th “somewhere in France”, aged 19 years.
“We do not forget him, nor do we intend;
We think of him daily, and will to the end.
We miss him and mourn him in silence unseen,
And dwell on the memory of days that have been.”
“In the midst of life we are in death.”
–Not forgotten by his sorrowing Mother, Father, Brothers and Sisters.
He was buried in the Peronne Road Cemetery , Maricourt France. Memorial reference 1v.H.34.
The inscription on his gravestone reads:
REST IN PEACE
RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM