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Person Details
Belph, Whitwell, Derbyshire
George Marples was born in 1873, the son of George and Hannah Marples née Handcock. He was born in the Hamlet of Belph near Whitwell, Derbyshire. His parents had married on 13 June 1859 and over the next 20 years produced twelve children, at least two dying in infancy. The parents lived at Warsop at the start of their marriage before moving to Whitwell and in 1874, moving to Holbeck and where Hannah Marples died in 1909. George junior became a bricklayer by trade and in 1912 at the age of 39, decided to emigrate to Australia. He sailed to Sydney on the “Ballarat” departing 11th April.
14 Aug 1916
1456522 - CWGC Website
13th Bn Australian Infantry (AIF)
George Marples was living in Australia when war was declared. He answered the call and after joining the 13th infantry Battalion, Australian Imperial Force and on the 31 March 1916, he embarked on HAMT Star of Victoria, bound for France. The voyage took 33 days and arrived at Marsielles sailing via Egypt. From here he went to the Western front and was reported missing on 14th August 1916. His father was informed and as no news was forthcoming after six months, George’s father wrote to the authorities at Carlton House on the 30th January 1917, asking if there was any news of George. The letter was passed on to the Australian Red Cross Society. Confirmation of his death on the 14th August 1916 was accepted due to the following witness report:- Letter received from Hounsell H.R.;- A Coy, 13th Bn, 30 Ward, Harfield, 2/11/1916 Killed at Pozieres on Aug 14 whilst carrying me. He was shot thro’ the head when carrying me from German trench over No-man’s Land back to our own trenches. (Later report added) Being wounded myself, I am not aware if he was buried but think he was left in the German trench. On the 21st March 1917 a letter was received stating that George was officially killed in action on the date stated and concluded, “In the midst of your sorrow how proud you must be to have had such a hero for your son who so gallantly sacrificed his own life to save the life of his friend”.
George was commemorated on the Villers-Bretonneux Memorial, France. Research by Colin Dannatt
Remembered on