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681449 GNR. G. GREGG.  R.F.A.


George Gregg was born in the second quarter of 1897 in Bootle and baptised on 19 May at Kirkdale St Athanasius.  His father was John William Gregg (b. 1872 in Bootle), a postman.  His mother was Henrietta Jones (b. 1872 in West Derby).  John and Henrietta were married in 1895 and they had seven children, though one died.  The six survivors, all boys, were: George, then John William (b. 1898), Alfred (b. 1901), Edward (b. 1904), Harold (b. 1908) and Ernest (b. 1910).  In 1911, the family was living at 125 Hornby Road, Bootle.  All the children, including George, were still at school.


George was just old enough to enlist in May 1915, when the joined the Royal Field Artillery and was posted to “D” Battery of 286 Brigade and later assigned service number 681449.  In early 1917 his Brigade was engaged in the defence of Armentières.  In June his battery had come under severe attack from enemy shelling, including gas.  For example, the War Diary for 20 July reports that “Enemy shelled Armentières intermittently during day.. 1 O/R D/286Bde wounded”.  And the following day, the shelling continued during the day “and at night the enemy fired about 4000 gas shells into Nouvelle Houplines.  2 guns D/286 damaged.”  George was wounded around this time and he died of wounds at 2/3 Wessex Field Ambulance on 22 June 1917.  He was 20 years old.


Rank:  Gunner

Service Number:  681449

Date of Death:  22/07/1917

Age:  20

Regiment/Service:  Royal Field Artillery, “D” Bty., 286Bde

Cemetery/memorial reference:  II. D. 19.


Additional Information:  Son of John W. and Henrietta Gregg, of 125 Hornby Road, Bootle, Liverpool.


64291 PTE. J. W. GREGG.  WELSH.R.

Further tragedy was in store for the Gregg family.  George’s younger brother, John William, signed his attestation papers in May 1916 when he was 17 years and 6 months old.  He joined the Welsh Regiment and was assigned service number 64291.  He was called up in February the following year and posted to 9th Battalion.  He landed in France on 21 January 1918 and proceeded to join his battalion in the field on 18 February.  He died of wounds received in action just 9 days later, on 27 February 1918.  I don’t know the precise circumstances, but 4 men from his battalion were killed together on that day, so I guess a shell hit their trench.  John William was only 19 years old.


Rank:  Private

Service Number:  64291

Date of Death:  27/02/1918

Age:  19

Regiment/Service:  Welsh Regiment, 9th Btn

Cemetery/memorial reference:  I. G. 23.


Additional Information:  Son of John W. and Henrietta Gregg, of 125 Hornby Road, Bootle, Liverpool.

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