Private 9804 George Bladen

 Bladen George 96 358x600

Killed in Action on Friday, 26th October 1917, age 24.
Commemorated on Panel 90 to 92 and 162 to 162A of Tyne Cot Memorial, Zonnebeke, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium.

1st Bn., South Staffordshire Regiment. 91st Brigade of 7th Division.

Son of Mr & Mrs Bladen, 1 Old Cross Street, Tipton, Staffs.
Born: Dudley, Enlisted: Tipton, Resident: Tipton.

First landed France & Flanders, 2nd November 1915.
Medal entitlement: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives did not survive.

Commemorated on the Tipton Library Memorial.
Commemorated here because he appears on a Tipton memorial.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/845146/

Genealogical Data

Birth of George Bladen registered September quarter 1893 in Dudley.

1901 Census
4 Court 4 House, Old Cross Street, Tipton, Staffs.
George Bladen (32, Coal Miner, born Dudley), his wife Eliza (34, born Tipton), and their 4 children: Florence (9, born Kate's Hill), George (7, born Kate's Hill), Annie (5, born Tipton), William (3 months, born Tipton).

1911 Census
4 Court 1 House, Old Cross Street, Tipton, Staffs.
George Bladen (38, Coal Miner, born Dudley), his wife Eliza (41, born Tipton), and 6 of their 7 surviving children of 8: Florrie (19, Domestic Service, born Dudley), George (17, Coal Miner, born Dudley), Annie (15, born Tipton), William (10, School, born Tipton), Eliza (5, School, born Tipton), and Arthur (11 months, born Tipton).

Personal Data

Before the war George Bladen had been a miner employed at Park Lane Colliery, but soon after the outbreak of war had enlisted with the South Staffs. He arrived in France on 2nd November 1915 when he was assigned to the 1st South Staffs as a signaller. The Tipton Herald report states that he had twice been "recommended for distinction", but no awards had been forthcoming.

After George's death, his outstanding army pay and allowances amounted to £8/9/5d (8 pounds, 9 shillings and 5 pence); this was paid to his mother and sole legatee, Eliza, in March 1918. His War Gratuity was £14/0/0d (14 pounds exactly), this was also paid to his mother in November 1919. The value of the War Gratuity suggests that George had enlisted in September 1914.

Action resulting in his death

Lieutenant Thomas, the Signals Officer, had determined to leave George out of the attack as he had been in every attack during 1917. George was, however, required for a carrying party to bring rations up to the front line. When they were some way behind the lines, a shell fell amongst the carrying party and George was killed. This appears to have been near Zillebeke, about 2 miles from the 1st South Staffs front line, as George is reported to have been buried near Canada Tunnels.

If you require further detail of the 1st South Staffs on 26th October, click to see the entry for William Allen.

Newspaper Cuttings

Tipton Herald 6th April 1918
Tipton Signaller Killed in Action.
Officer's Tribute to a Brave Soldier.
Mr and Mrs Bladen of No. 1 Old Cross Street, Tipton, have received official news that their son, Signaller George Bladen of the 1st South Staffords, was killed in action on October 26th 1917. He enlisted at the outbreak of war, went to France in 1915, and was twice recommended for distinction. The deceased was a miner and employed at Park Lane Colliery. He was educated at St. Paul's School and was very highly respected.
Lieutenant Thomas (Signals Officer) writes as follows to Private Bladen's sister: "Dear Miss Bladen, It is with regret that I have to inform you of your brother, who was killed in action on the night of the 25th - 26th October. The Battalion at that time was in the line preparatory to the attack on the 26th, but your brother had been left out by me for a rest, having been with the Battalion in every attack this year. However, it was found necessary to form a party to bring water and rations up to the front line. Your brother formed one of the party. Apparently, when some distance from the Battalion, a shell dropped onto the track in the middle of the party, and it was then your brother was killed. Being in the line myself at that time, I am unable to say at what spot exactly this occurred, but I am told that your brother was buried near to a place at the East of Ypres, known as Canada Tunnels. I sympathise most deeply with you in your loss. I knew your brother well, as he was in the Signals Section with me at Jersey. Ever since I knew him, I always found him most willing to do any sort of job. He was always cheerful under the most trying circumstances, either in the line or when at rest. I looked on him as one of the best and most reliable of my signallers. I can only repeat that I feel most deeply for you in your loss. I hope, however, it will be a comfort for you that he was such a good and brave soldier, and as such he died."