Contributed by: Richard Pinkett, on 2008-11-10
|Year of Birth||1875|
|Year of Death||1917|
|Place of Wartime Residence||Jacksdale, Derbyshire|
Corporal George Arthur Woolley, No 86601, was born to John and Dorothy Woolley of Codnor, Derbyshire. Prior to the First World War George Woolley worked at Pinxton Colliery as a miner. He enlisted in early October 1914 in the Sherwood Foresters. In February 1915 he transferred to the Royal Engineers 177th Tunnelling Company (formed at Terdeghem in June 1915) to meet an urgent requirement for sappers with mining experience. He was seriously wounded on May 11th 1915 but recovered, and was sent back to France in September 1915, following five days leave at home. In December 1915 he was gassed, but recovered in hospital at Rouen, and in April of 1916 he came home on leave for ten days before returning to the front where he featured in some of the most brutal fighting of the campaign, chiefly on the Somme and in the Ypres sector.
He received his first promotion after battle on Hill 60, a low ridge some 150 feet high and 250 yard from end to end, formed artificially when the railway cutting was dug and one of the most feared places in the whole of the Ypres salient, and his second about ten days before being killed in action on Sunday July 22nd 1917 He was in a dug out, when gas shells burst near the entrance causing a great deal of chaos with many men becoming overcome. Corporal Woolley at once went to try and help men who had been affected by the gas and in doing so sacrificed his own life. He is buried at R.E. Grave, Railway Wood, Ieper, Belgium, which is the smallest war cemetery in Belgium containing only 13 graves.
He left a widow Martha Hemstock Woolley of Church Lane Bagthorpe, Jacksdale, Nottinghamshire and six children.