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George Henry Radford was born in 1894 at Greasley and was the son of John a coal miner and Lucy Radford née Harrison of 6 St Edmund's Avenue Mansfield Woodhouse Nottinghamshire. His father John was born in 1873 at Greasley, his mother Lucy Harrison was also born in 1873 at Greasley, they were married in 1892 their marriage was recorded in the Basford registration district, they went on to have the following children, Edith Mary b1892, George Henry b1894, Ethel b1896, Hilda b1902 and John Phillip b1907 all were born at Greasley. In the 1911 census the family are living at Debdale Cottages, Chesterfield Road, Mansfield and are shown as John 38 yrs a coal miner his is living with his wife Lucy 38 yrs and their children, George Henry 17 yrs a coal miner, Ethel 15 yrs a servant, Hilda 9 yrs a scholar and John Phillip 4yrs of age.
He was a coal miner working at Sherwood Colliery.
27 Jul 1916
1549994 - CWGC Website
1st Bn King's Royal Rifle Corps
Rifleman George Henry Radford, enlisted at Mansfield on 12th May 1915 and served with 1st Battalion King's Royal Rifle Corps. He landed in France on 19th August 1915 and was killed in action during a German counter-attack at Delville Wood on 27th July 1916. Having no known grave his name is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial.
Article published in the Mansfield Reporter and Sutton Times 3rd November 1916 :- “LANCE-CORPORAL GEO. H. RADFORD. “Another Mansfield Woodhouse soldier is numbered among the missing. Lance-Corpl. Geo. H. Radford, son of Mr. and Mrs. Jno. Radford, of St. Edmund's-avenue, for whom much sympathy is felt. The soldier, who is well-known and highly respected in the district, was a member of the Parish Church, a Sunday school teacher, and took an active part in the work of the C.E.M.S. Lance-Corporal Radford, who has now been missing for three months, responded to the call of King and country, early in the war. Giving up a good position at the Sherwood Colliery he joined the King's Royal Rifles on the 12th May, 1915. After three months training at Winchester and Sherness [sic] he was drafted to France on the 19th August, and three days later had his first experience of trench warfare. Up to the 27th July of this year, the date he was missed, he had seen various phases of the war, and had been in many engagements. He was very highly respected by his officers and by his comrades and from the evidence contained in letters sent to his parents by them was a capable and excellent soldier, and one who will be missed in the battalion to which he belonged. In his letters home, which were very interesting, he always appeared cheerful, and in the last letter to his parents, expressed his pleasure at being able to do his duty for his country, and hoped all young men would rally round the flag, and help to win this world-wide war. As is natural absence of news of him is causing great anxiety and sorrow to his parents and friends, and although everything possible has been done to glean information as to his fate, nothing up to the present has been heard of him. Everyone can sympathise with his friends in their great trouble, and trust that even after so long a time something may yet be heard of him. “The following letter, received by Mr. and Mrs. Radford from a comrade, was the first intimation that their son was missing:— “Dear Mr. Radford, — No doubt you will be surprised to receive this letter from me, — my reason for writing you is to acknowledge receipt of a parcel sent by you to your son George, and I am sorry to inform you that he is reported as missing since the 27th, when he went into action with his Company. Since then nothing has been heard of him. It troubles me very much to report this to you, as I know what it will mean to you and your family, but I do hope that before very long something will turn up to let us know definitely what has happened to him. Your son and I arrived at Winchester Barracks the same day, last May (1915) and we have been in the same company all the time, and came out to France together. I also knew the other boys who came from your district, and we have had some very enjoyable times together. Your son will be greatly missed by his company as well as by you, as I can assure you that we always found him a good and willing lad. The contents of the parcel I distributed amongst his section, as is the usual custom, and all thank you very much for same. All the section join me in my wishes, that, before long, good news will be heard of your son, until then, believe me to remain, yours very truly, Lance-Corpl. S. Layfield.” [1] “The following letter was received from his captain:— “Dear Sir, — l have received your letter enquiring about Lance-Corpl G. Radford who was in my Company. I can understand only too well the terrible anxiety of his parents, but I am afraid that I can give them little hope. He was with the Company bombers on the right of the battalion, which was very strongly attacked by the Germans, who had surrounded this bombing party, which they rushed after shooting all the men there. Whether Radford was killed or not I am unable to say for certain, as there was [sic] no survivors who got back, and we did not get the ground back until it was dark, and then we were relieved at once. I am afraid there is very little hope, though there is just a chance that he was taken prisoner, but a poor one, as I don't think it was possible for the Germans to get anyone away. The fighting was of a most desperate character, and both sides lost very heavily. If he was killed he would have been buried afterwards, but not for a few days, by some other regiment, and then definite news might come, but even then it is not certain. I am terribly sorry, that is all I can say. Corporal Radford was a first-rate man, and a very great loss to his Company. He was very popular with everyone, and had always shown exceptional coolness under fire. The action in question was on July 27th, when the battalion took and held the Deleville [sic] Wood. My Company alone lost four officers and 112 men, so it is very inefficient to obtain information. I myself was about fifty yards away at the time when the post was rushed. Please express to his parents my sincere sympathy in their terrible anxiety. Of course, if I hear anything I will write at once. —Yours truly, R. S. Stafford. [2] Captain 1st K.R.R.C.” [1] L/Cpl. Samuel Mayfield, 1st Battalion King's Royal Rifle Corps, was killed in action on 1st August 1916. Commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, he was the 25 year-old son of John Thomas and Maria Layfield, of 47 Roseville Terrace, Farsley, Leeds.. [2] Captain, later Lieutenant Colonel Ronald Semphill Howard Stafford, D.S.O., M.C., 1st Battalion King's Royal Rifle Corps. The above article and supporting information is courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918
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