Private 38835 George Arthur Lewis

Lewis George 96 391x600

Killed in Action on Saturday, 26th October 1918, age 22.
Buried in Grave III. E. 7. at Valenciennes (St. Roch) Communal Cemetery, Nord, France.

2nd/4th Bn., Royal Berkshire Regiment. 184th Brigade of 61st Division.

of 14 Providence Street, Tipton. Source?
Born: Wolverhampton, Enlisted: Tipton, Resident: Unknown.

First landed France & Flanders, post 31st December 1915.
Medal entitlement: 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/577670/

Genealogical Data

Birth of George Arthur Lewis registered March quarter 1896 in Dudley.

1901 Census
Court 1 House 2, New Cross Street, Tipton, Staffs.
Thomas Lewis (46, Coal Miner, born Clee Hills, Shropshire), his wife Catherine (44, born Clee Hills, Shropshire), and 5 of their children: Ann (14, born Tipton), Thomas (12, born Tipton), Ethel (10, born Tipton), George A. (6, born Tipton), and Frederick (4, born Tipton).

1911 Census
6 Slater Street, Tipton, Staffs.
Living in the household of Albert and Eva Goodridge: George Lewis (15, Boarder, Railway Porter, born Tipton).

Personal Data

After George's death, his outstanding army pay and allowances amounted to £12/19/7d (12 pounds, 19 shillings and 7 pence); this was paid to his mother and sole legatee, Elizabeth Whitney, in April 1919. His War Gratuity was £8/10/0d (8 pounds and 10 shillings), this was also paid to his mother in April 1919. The value of the War Gratuity suggests that George had enlisted in approximately October 1916.

Action resulting in his death

The 2/4th Royal Berks lost over 250 men in 1918. Over 100 died during the German advance of March 1918, losses at a lower rate continued up to August, and losses were heavy during the 100 Days Advance to Victory starting August 8th.

By the 25th October, the 2/4th Berkshires were just a few miles south of Valenciennes. On that day they unsuccessfully attempted to cross the Rhonelle River, forced back by German machine guns on the heights beyond the river. On the 26th, 'D' company succeeded in crossing, and gained touch with the 4th Division on the slope on its left. 'A' company was less fortunate, being caught in a gas-shell barrage and suffering some casualties. It could not get beyond its original front line, in which it was presently relieved by 'B' Company. Later, the battalion was relieved in front line, and withdrawn to billets in reserve at Beaurain.

This relief was too late for George Lewis who was killed in action on the 26th October, and is buried in Valenciennes St Roch Communal Cemetery.

Newspaper Cuttings

Birmingham Daily Post 18th December 1918
Royal Berkshire Regiment, Lewis, 38835, G.A., (Tipton).