DORLING, George John Edwin

No.R/39970, Rifleman, George John Edwin DORLING
Aged 34

12th Battalion, King's Royal Rifle Corps
formerly S2/15498 Army Service Corps
Died of his Wounds on Thursday, 21st March 1918

Born James George Edwin in Bury St.Edmunds in 1884 (1st qtr 4a:2663) son of Reuben and Georgina DORLING (née DRURY)

1891 census...Aged 7, he was at 25 Crown Street, Bury St.Edmunds with his father Reuben DORLING [36] brewery worker, born West Stow; his mother Georgiana [35] born Gtreat Welnetham; sisters Maud E [9] and Lily [4]; brother Arthur [2].All the children were born in Bury St.Edmunds.

1901 census...Aged 17, a brewer's labourer, he was at 25 Crown Street, Bury St.Edmunds with his parents, brothers Arthur W [12], Clement R [8] and Bert K D [2]; sisters Maud E [20] shop assistant and Lily R [14]

He married Ellen DRANE [23-6-1884] on 25th December 1910 in St.Luke's Church, Hackney. At the time he was a printer's labourer, living at 33 Kenton Road, Hackney.

1911 census...Aged 27, a printer's assistant, he was at 21 Brett Road, Amhurst Road, Hackney with his wife Ellen [26] an ironer, born Hackney.

His widow was at 142 Amhurst Road, Hackney.

He enlisted in Hackney The battalion was at OFFOY, some way south of Peronne on the River Somme.
At midnight a very heavy barrae bean, gradually increasing in intensity until it reached its maximum at about 4 am
The battalion "stood by" in billets all the morning and at last at 2:30 pm the order came to "Man Battle Stations". We marched off at 3:15 pm va SANCOURT, VILLERS ST.CHRISTOPHE and across the fields to DOUCHY,or rather , to a sunken road abot 500 yards NW of DOUCHY. DOUCHY was being heavily shlled. Here, a mounted officer from Brigade foundthe NBattn. We were to remian where we were until we received further orders. Sentries were therefore posted and the Battn waited. At midnight the order came through to move to the original battle stations. A particularly dense mist had fallen making movemnet exteremly dfficult, especially over open country. The battalion was disposed as follows-
"A" and "D" Coys in he front line. "B" Coy for counter-attack, "C" Coy holding strongpoints. The Battn was on the extreme left of the Brigade, with its right flank resting on FLUQUIERES and its left just south of VAUX. The 12th Rifle Brigade were in position on our right. On reaching battle stations Coys dug in; the remainder of the night pased quietly

The Battalion lost 10 men killed that day, only 2 with known graves. A light toll for the 1st day of the German Spring Offensive, the Kaiserschlacht, the German thrust being concentrated a little further north at that time.

photo - Roy Beardsworth
George Dorling is commemorated on the Pozières Memorial, France panels 61 to 64

click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details