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  • Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone marking his grave at Fifteen Ravine British Cemetery, Villers-Plouich.  Courtesy of Murray Biddle
Person Details
21 Jul 1884
Beeston Nottingham
George Alfred was the son of John Samuel and Ellen Shipstone (née Hole). His father was born in Nottingham in about 1853 and his mother also in Nottingham in about 1856. They were married in 1876 (J/F/M Nottingham) and had at least seven children, two of whom died before 1911: Annie Maria (Hannah) b. 1876, Ethel M b. 1877 d. 1899, John Samuel b. 1879 d. July 1883, William Lon (sic) birth registered 1881 (J/F/M), George Alfred b. 1884 (J/A/S), Mary Ann Elsie (Elsie) b. 1889 and Emmeline (Emma) b. 1898. William and George were born in Beeston and their siblings in Nottingham. In 1881 John, a lace maker, and Ellen were living on Radnor Street, Nottingham, with their children Hannah, Ethel, John and William. John died two years later in 1883. John and Ellen had moved to Kinglake Street, Meadows, Nottingham, by 1891 where they lived with their six children, Hannah and Ethel who were both domestic servants, William, George and Mary Ann (Elsie). By 1901 the family home was in Old Basford when only George (16) a stable man, Elsie and Emma were still living with their parents. The eldest son William, a night watchman (Nottingham Corporation), was a boarder with a family on Bobbers Mill Road, Nottingham. Ethel had married Thomas Branson in 1895 but had died four years later in 1899 aged 21 while Annie (Hannah) had married George Revill at Ironville Christ Church, Derbyshire in February 1899 and later lived in Codnor, then Ilkeston, Derbyshire. George enlisted in the Militia in January 1902 and gave his address as 1 Scots Yard, Chelsea Street, Nottingham. He named his parents and brother William, all of the same address, and sister Annie Revell of Codnor as his next of kin. The family was still living on Chelsea Street when George joined the RMLI later that year. John Samuel died in 1908 (buried 1 March) and in 1911 his widow Ellen and youngest daughter Emmaline were living with William, his wife Ellen (née Lockwood, m. 1903) on Nottingham Road, Ilkeston. Elsie, a laundry worker, was a boarder with a family on Berridge Road, Nottingham, while Annie Revill and her family were living on Derby Road, Ilkeston. George, who was discharged from the RMLI in 1909, has not yet been traced on the 1911 Census. William and his family, together with his widowed mother Ellen, later moved to Cross Street, Nottingham. Ellen probably died in 1929. George married Elizabeth Ann Wardle (b. 1894) at Hyson Green parish church on 4 January 1918 during a period of furlough (2-11 January) and three months before he returned to France. His service record gave several home addresses for his wife including 8 Gregory Street, Ilkeston, but the later CWGC record gave her address as 15 Rancliffe Terrace, Pym Street, St. Ann's Well Road, Nottingham, which presumably was her home following her marriage to John E Horsnall in 1919. Elizabeth died in 1958. George's brother William, a father of three, attested on 24 August 1914 and was posted the same day to the 3rd Bn Sherwood Foresters (13479 Private). He was posted to the 13th Bn on 31 October 1914 but was discharged on 4 December 1914, 'not likely to become an efficient soldier on medical grounds.'
1901 - stableman. 1902 - ostler, Nottingham Corporation (Tram Department). When he attested in 1914 he was a foundry labourer.
28 Sep 1918
239837 - CWGC Website
Enlisted Nottingham
1/8th Bn Manchester Regiment
1/8th Bn Manchester Regiment. Formerly 12089 10th Hussars. Although George did not declare previous military service when he attested in 1914 there are two earlier military records. He enlisted in the Militia, 4th Bn Notts & Derby Regiment (8812 Private), on 6 January 1902 but was discharged on joining the Royal Marine Light Infantry on 29 July 1902 (12432). His RM record gave his date of birth as 21 July 1885 (age 17 years) although his birth was registered in 1884. He was deemed under-age ie under 18 years, from 29 July-20 July 1903. George joined at the Recruit Depot Deal on 29 July 1902 and transferred to Portsmouth Division on 26 March 1903: embarked HMS Calliope 21 October 1903-8 April 1904. Portsmouth Diivision. Embarked HMS Revenge 7 May 1904-31 August 1905. Portsmouth Division. Embarked HMS Indefatigable 9 January 1906-22 January 1908. HMS Isis 23 January 1908-10 February 1908. Portsmouth Division. Embarked HMS Illustrious 1 June 1908-28 May 1909. HMS Suberb 29 May 1909-15 August 1909. Run [deserted] Portsmouth. Victory 3 September 1909-12 September 1909. George was then discharged from the Royal Marines 'services no longer required' and discharged to Derby Road, Ilkeston, which may have been the home of his married sister, Annie Revill. George attested on 15 August 1914 at Nottingham age 29, born 1885 (sic) and joined 10th Hussars (No. 12089). On 11 January 1915 he arrived in France and seventeen months later on 19 June 1916 was transferred to 2nd Battalion, Manchester Regiment. George was wounded on 23 September 1917 with a gunshot wound to the thigh. He was taken to 23rd Field Ambulance and later medically evacuated to the UK. While on Home service, George was granted furlough from 2 January 1918-11 January, contact address Mrs Moore, 8 Gregory Street, Ilkeston. He joined 3rd Battalion Manchester Regiment on 8 February 1918 and shortly before his posting to BEF France was found guilty of overstaying final leave from Tatooo on 14 March 1918 until 10.30am 18 March when he was 'ordered to rejoin his unit by Military Police at Nottingham'. For being absent for 3 days, 12 hours, 30 minutes, he was awarded 8 days CB [confined to barracks]. George returned to France on 31 March 1918 and transferred to 1/8th Battalion on 7 April. He was admitted to hospital suffering from tonsillitis from 30 July-9 August 1918. Private Shipstone was killed in action on 28 September 1918 when the battalion was involved in attacks on the ridges around Villers Plouich, and is buried at Fifteen Ravine British Cemetery at Villers Plouich, France (grave ref. VII.C.1). The history of the cemetery indicates that his grave was brought in after the Armistice. (See below) George served in the army for 4 years 45 days: Home 15 August 1914-10 January 1915. BEF France 11 January 1915-9 October 1917. Home 10 October 1917-30 March 1918. BEF France 31 March 1918-28 September 1918. He qualified for the 1915 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal. CWGC - History of Fifteen Ravine British Cemetery (extract): the village of Villers-Plouich is about 13 km from Cambrai. '"Fifteen Ravine" was the name given by the Army to the shallow ravine, once bordered by fifteen trees, which ran at right angles to the railway about 800 metres south of the village of Villers-Plouich, but the cemetery is in fact in "Farm Ravine," on the east side of the railway line, nearer to the village. The cemetery, sometimes called Farm Ravine Cemetery, was begun by the 17th Welsh Regiment in April 1917, a few days after the capture of the ravine by the 12th South Wales Borderers. It continued in use during the Battle of Cambrai (November 1917) and until March 1918, when the ravine formed the boundary between the Third and Fifth Armies. On 22 March, the second day of the great German offensive, the ground passed into their hands after severe fighting, and it was not regained until the end of the following September. In March 1918, the cemetery contained 107 graves (now Plot I), but it was greatly enlarged after the Armistice when graves were brought in from the battlefields south-west of Cambrai and other cemeteries [listed].' (www.cwgc.org)
CWGC: 'Husband of Elizabeth A. Horsnall (formerly Shipstone), of 15, Rancliffe Terrace, Pym St., St. Ann's Well Rd., Nottingham. Born at Nottingham.' WW1 Pension Ledgers Index Cards, widow Elizabeth Ann Shipstone, residence Old Basford.
Remembered on


  • Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone marking his grave at Fifteen Ravine British Cemetery, Villers-Plouich.  Courtesy of Murray Biddle
    George Alfred Shipstone - Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone marking his grave at Fifteen Ravine British Cemetery, Villers-Plouich. Courtesy of Murray Biddle