Private 12607 George Edward Partridge

Partridge George 96 441x600 Partridge George 96 408x600
Photograph courtesy of Joe Devereux

Died of Wounds Home on Saturday, 1st September 1917, age 23.
Buried in Grave C. Ded. 39. at Tipton Cemetery, Staffordshire, United Kingdom.

4th Bn., Worcestershire Regiment. 88th Brigade of 29th Division.
Formerly 12607 1st Batttalion, Worcestershire Regiment.

of 13 Simons Passage, High Street, Tipton, Staffs
Born: Tipton, Enlisted: Dudley, Resident: Tipton.

First landed France & Flanders, 5th November 1914.
Medal entitlement: 1914 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/395354/

Genealogical Data

Birth of George Edward Partridge registered June quarter 1894 in Dudley.

1901 Census
1 House 1 Court, Eagle Street, Tipton, Staffs.
Mark Partridge (29, Coal Miner - Underground, born Tipton), his wife Alice (26, born Tipton), and their 2 children: George E. (6, born Tipton), and Alice (2, born Tipton).

1911 Census
14 Simons Passage, Tipton, Staffs.
Alice Partridge (34, Flower Dealer, born Tipton), and 3 of her 4 surviving children of 6: George Edward (16, Colliery Horse Driver - Underground, born Tipton), Alice (13, born Tipton), and Frederick Mark (8, born Tipton).
Alice's husband Mark Partridge (39, Miner, born Tipton) was a boarder at 1 Price Street, Bilston.

It would seem that Mark and Alice Partridge divorced, as they both subsequently re-married. In March quarter 1913, the marriage of Mark Partridge and Sarah Appleton was registered in Cannock. In 1939 Mark and Sarah were still living in Cannock (97 Cecil Street, Chadsmoor) and Mark's date of birth ties up with previous records proving it is the same man. In December quarter 1916, the marriage of Jesse Stone and Alice Partridge was registered in Dudley; a daughter, Doris, was born in 1917. This ties up with George's Pension Card, as his Dependant's Pension is paid to his mother, Mrs Alice Stone. In 1939 Alice Stone and her daughter Doris M. Stone were living at 15 Hawthorne Road, Tipton.

Personal Data

George’s Army Number, 12607, suggests an enlistment date with the Worcestershire Regiment on or about August 26th 1911; he would have been 17 years of age. The Tipton Herald reported that he had served with the 4th Battalion in India; this was possible but he was serving with the 1st Battalion when he first landed in France.

The 1st Battalion had returned from Egypt and joined 8th Division, composed mainly of battalions returned from policing the Empire. George was with them when they departed Southampton on November 5th, dis-embarking on November 8th after some days waiting for a berth at Havre. On November 14th they first went into the ‘A’ Lines trenches, about a mile south-west of Neuve Chapelle, near to today’s Indian Memorial.

The Casualty Register at Worcester Regimental HQ records that just 10 days later, on November 24th, George received an unspecified wound while a member of ‘A’ Company, 1st Worcesters. The War Diary records that between the 22nd and 25th November, the 1st Worcesters had 3 men killed and 5 wounded.

The Tipton Herald reported that George was wounded at Neuve Chapelle, and that after recovery he was sent to Gallipoli and served throughout that campaign. This must have been the time that George was posted to the 4th Battalion, Worcesters.

After serving through Gallipoli, the 4th Worcesters moved to France where George saw action on the First Day of the Battle of the Somme, near Auchonvillers.

On 10th July, George was admitted to 2nd General Hospital (Le Havre) suffering from shell shock. He was recorded as being a Lance Corporal, 24 years old with 5 years' service and 18 months in the Field. He was discharged to a Convalescent Depot 9 days later on 19th July.

After George's death, his outstanding army pay and allowances amounted to £4/11/3d (4 pounds, 11 shillings and 3 pence); this was paid to his mother Alice in May 1918. His War Gratuity was £16/0/0d (16 pounds exactly), this was also paid to his mother Alice in December 1919. The value of the War Gratuity confirms that George had enlisted in August 1914.

The Soldier's Effects document suggests that George's mother was overpaid with his War Gratuity, as the full amount was paid without the deduction of funeral expenses. Additionally, it seems that George actually made his unnamed fiancee as the beneficiary of his will, but she could not be traced. There is no record of the money being paid back. "Mother was entitled to 10/3d only of War Gratuity being balance of funeral expenses. The balance of War Gratuity should have been issued to legatee-fiancee who, however, could not be traced. No refund was obtained from mother. Papers have been kept."

George’s mother, Mrs Alice Stone (previously Partridge) was awarded a Dependant’s Pension of 5/0d (5 shillings) per week from 27th May 1919.

Action resulting in his death

It is most likely that George was wounded with the 4th Worcesters at the Battle of Langemarck on 16th to 18th August 1917, part of the 3rd Battle of Ypres. The 4th Worcesters advanced from Signal Farm, about a mile to the east of Langemarck, in a north east direction following the Newfoundland Battalion. After crossing the Steenbeek, the Newfoundlanders dug in near Cannes Farm, and the Worcesters continued the advance to their objective - a line of German trenches just before the Broembeek. This was taken without too much difficulty and was held despite enemy machine gun and artillery fire. Even after being relieved on the 18th, the 4th Worcesters were still plagued by artillery fire on their reserve position.

George was wounded around the middle of August 1917, and died from these wounds on 1st September 1917 in Dudley Road Hospital, Birmingham. This had been a subsidiary of the 1st Southern General Hospital (University of Birmingham, Selly Oak), but become a hospital in its own right in May 1917 being called the 2/1st Southern General Hospital. George was buried with full military honours on 5th September in Tipton Cemetery.

Newspaper Cuttings

Tipton Herald January 7th 1915
G.E. Partridge of 13 Simon Passage on Roll of Honour of men volunteering for the forces.

Birmingham Daily Gazette 6th September 1916
Below are the Midlands names in the List.
Wounded - Shell Shock:
WORCESTERS- Partridge, 12607, G.E., (Tipton).

Tipton Herald September 8th 1917
On Wednesday, the late Private George Edward Partridge, whose home was Simon's Passage, Tipton, was accorded a military funeral. The deceased soldier had died of terrible wounds in a Birmingham hospital, and the body enclosed in a coffin, was brought to Tipton for interment.
The deceased soldier had been for several years in the 4th Worcesters when war broke out, at which time he was quartered in India. He went with the Battalion to France, and had seen three years fighting. He was 23 years of age in April last. He was over in Tipton on leave just over seven weeks ago, at which time he was in good health and spirits notwithstanding that he had been wounded no less than four times. He received fatal injuries about a month after returning to France, and was sent to Spring Hill Hospital, Birmingham, where he lived only a week, so terribly was he wounded.
At the funeral, a firing party was present from a neighbouring camp, and the Tipton Scout Troops bugle band attended. There were a number of wreaths including some from the neighbours, and a large number of people watched the cortege en route to Tipton Cemetery.

Berrows Worcester Journal September 15th 1917
(Editor: There are numerous errors in the following article: his age, he did not serve at Mons, there is no record of any bravery award. Mr Partridge of Cannock was his father who had re-married in 1913.)
Pte. G. E Partridge. Worcestershire Regt., has died of wounds. He was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Partridge, of Cannock, Staffs, and was aged 25. He served in the Army for five years. He went out with the original Expeditionary Force and was in the retreat from Mons. He was wounded at Neuve Chapelle. After recovery he was sent to Gallipoli and served throughout that campaign, and went straight to France, where he received the wounds which proved fatal. He enlisted in the Worcestershires at Tipton. By good service he rose to the rank of Sergeant, but resigned his stripes in order to be on an equality with many old friends in the platoon. He had also been decorated for bravery in the field.