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Person Details
Derby
He was the son of William Henry and Ellen (née Howitt) Squire. In 1901, they lived at 55, Becket Street, Derby. George's father later lived in Adelaide, Cape Province, South Africa (CWGC). At the time of her son's death, Ellen lived in All Souls parish at 92, Kimbolton Avenue, Ilkeston Road, Radford, Nottingham.
21 Sep 1917
19
87393 - CWGC Website
8943
Private
South African Forces
4th Regt South African Infantry Commanded by Lt Colonel F.A. Jones, DSO, the 4th Regiment South African Infantry was a kilted unit, wearing the Murray of Athol tartan. The regiment's companies were formed with volunteers from various units: 'A' Company mainly from volunteers of the Cape Town Highlanders Regiment. 'B' Company mainly from volunteers of the Transvaal Scottish Regiment's 1st Battalion. 'C' Company mainly from volunteers of the Transvaal Scottish Regiment's 2nd Battalion and 'D' Company from Caledonian Societies of the Free State and Natal. Totalling 160 officers and 5,648 other ranks, the regiment embarked for England from Cape Town and were quartered at Bordon in Hampshire for about two months for refresher training. After a short campaign in North Africa against a Turkish attack on the Suez Canal the SA Scottish were sent to France. Here they took part in the Battle of Delville Wood as part of the battle of the Somme in 1916. Between July 12 and 19th the total casualty rate was about 74% of those who went into action. By the end of July, the SA Scottish had suffered 868 casualties. After Delville Wood, the shattered SA Scottish were reformed and served on the Western Front at Vimy Ridge, Messines, Passchendale and Marrieres Wood. (Courtesy of Wikipedia) 12th September, 1917 the battalion prepared to move from Bapaume to Poperinghe for its role in the 3rd Battle of Ypres (Passchendaele). On the 16th ncos, and a day later the ranks in half companies, were shown a 'clay model over which forthcoming operations will take place.' Later on the 17th the unit came under heavy shellfire but reached trenches near the Menin Gate 'without a casualty.' As the South Africans waited in assembly positions, it was 'raining very hard but the men (were) very cheerful and eager.' Squire was mortally wounded late on 20th September, either as the South Africans attacked Bully Farm, Mitchell's Farm and Beck House with an 'estimated 40% casualties' or during an 'enemy counter attack beaten off with artillery and rifle fire'. Out of the line at Winnezeege three days later, 'at 9.30am the Commanding Officer addressed the officers, ncos and men of the battalion and thanked them for the work done in the operations of the 20th inst. and following days.' (4th Regt South African Infantry War Diary TNA WO 95/1785/2)
Mendinghem Military Cemetery, Grave Reference: VII E 32 Nottingham Evening Post, Roll of Honour 25/9/1917: 'Squire - Killed in action, September 21st, Private George Squire, South African Forces. Duty nobly done. - Broken hearted mother (92, Kimbolton Avenue).' South African records indicate Squire died of wounds. Thanks to Julian Putkowski for his help with this identifiaction. David Nunn
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