The Somme Remembered – 8th July 1916

The Somme Remembered –  8th July 1916

Thiepval Memorial via CWGC

Thiepval Memorial via CWGC

George Fox was killed in action on this day 100 years ago and is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing, which in the last few days has been the focus of a memorial service and vigil to commemorate the Battle of the Somme’s centenary.

Who was George Fox?

George was the son of David and Mary Ann Fox and according to the census of 1891 was born in Yorkshire. Home in this census was West Street, Altofts, near Pontefract.  In the house was mum, Mary Ann and three siblings.  Ten years later, the family, including dad David, are at 5 Helena Street, Snydale – George now has seven siblings, ranging in ages from 23 to 8 months. His father, David, works as a coal miner, hewer aged 49.

St Andrew's Church

St Andrew’s Church

George on 7 February 1906 in St Andrew’s Church, Wakefield married Maria Farrar – a Wakefield girl.  The couple at the time of their marriage both gave 58 Bailey’s Buildings as their address.  The 1911 census tells that George and Maria at the time had two children and George’s sister, Lily aged 19, was living with them.  Home for the extended family was 6 Halford Yard, Ingwell Street, Wakefield. George, like his father and brothers, was employed as a miner.

The hostilities began.  George enlisted in Wakefield, joining the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry 1/4th Battalion and becoming Private 201431.  There is a document that gives another service number – 3820, this document, tells that George was presumed dead between the 1 – 8th July, while other documents give the date of his death as the 8th – either way. he was 36 years of age.

Maria, his wife was eligible to receive all monies due to George from the War Office, which she received in two installments.