Private 16900 George Richard Fleet

Fleet George 96 343x600Fleet George 96 689x500
Grave photograph courtesy Steve and Margaret Moore, 2014.

Killed in Action Gallipoli on Friday, 17th December 1915, age 19.
Buried in Grave I. G. 16. at Azmak Cemetery, Suvla, Turkey.

'A' Company of 7th Bn., South Staffordshire Regiment. 33rd Brigade of 11th Division.

Son of Joseph Fleet, of 9, Anchor Yard, Deepfields, Bilston, Staffs.
Born: Tipton, Enlisted: Bilston, Resident: Deepfields, Coseley.

First landed Balkans, 6th October 1915.
Medal entitlement: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives did not survive.

Not commemorated on any Tipton memorial.
Commemorated here because identified as Tipton on 'Soldiers Died in the Great War'.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/601803/

Genealogical Data

Birth of George Fleet registered December quarter 1895 in Dudley.

1901 Census
27 Coppice Street, Tipton, Staffs.
Joseph Fleet (29, Boatman, born Tipton), his wife Sarah (30, born Tipton), and their 2 children: George (4, born Tipton) James (1, born Tipton).

1911 Census
9 Anchor Buildings, Deepfields, Coseley, Staffs.
Joseph Fleet (39, Boatman, born Tipton), his wife Sarah Jane (41, born Tipton), and their 4 surviving children of 11: George Richard (14, Boatman, born Tipton), James (11, School, born Tipton), Doris (6, School, born Tipton), and Albert Ernest (1, born Coseley).

Personal Data

George is commemorated on the WW1 memorial at St. Mary's Church, Hurst Hill, Coseley.

Action resulting in his death

Having enlisted with the South Staffs in January 1915, George was sent to Gallipoli where almost 200 men of the 7th South Staffs had been killed during July and August 1915. He arrived in Gallipoli on 6th October, when the major battles for the South Staffs in the peninsula had already taken place. At this time the battalion was being re-built, and were mainly involved in holding the line and innumerable work parties.

November saw violent storms and freezing conditions, with trenches flooded and cases of frostbite widespread. From the second week in December, it was known that the evacuation from Gallipoli had definitely been decided on. All attempts were made to hide this from the Turks, by trying to make it appear that we were still consolidating our position.

Just one day before the South Staffs were successfully evacuated from 'W' Beach, George Frost was killed in action. He is buried in Anzak Cemetery at Suvla, but this cemetery was only constructed after the Armistice.

Newspaper Cuttings

Tipton Herald 12th August 1916
Private George Richard Fleet, of the 7th South Staffords, was with his family well-known in Tipton Green when they resided at 30 Wood Street. He is another young Tipton lad who has given his life for King and Country. A boatman by occupation, he joined the army soon after the outbreak of war - in January 1915 - and long before he was 19 years old. At the time he enlisted he, with his parents, resided in Anchor Yard, Deepfields, Coseley. He was the eldest son of the family, and was a quiet, well-conducted young man. The young hero's grandmother, Mrs Turner, lives at 30 Wood Street, and she and other relatives are well-known and respected. The late Private Harry Hughes was a cousin of the deceased.