Contributed by: Mrs Joan Beach, on 2008-11-11
|Year of Birth||1889|
|Year of Death||1915|
|Regiment||Rifle Brigade (Prince Consort's Own)|
|Place of Wartime Residence||Oldbury, Worcestershire|
I was given his medals by my mother, who was the niece of George, a few years before she died. No one in the family could tell me much about George by then or where he had died. I knew I must find out because he had given his life in the Great War and I wanted to pass the medals, the picture of him, Princess Mary box and any information on to my grandchildren. It is so important that we do not forget.
'Hooge! That shambles where the flames swept ruddy'
I found he had died in action during an advance around Zouave Wood near Ypres. Two other friends from Oldbury died in the same action. J Cooksey and G Martin. They were cut down by rifle and machine gun fire as they advanced. During the night the Germans counter attacked using liquid fire against the British for the first time. The 14th Division lost just under 2,500 men on that day, 30th July, at Hooge. Rifleman Colin Mitchell, who survived that action but died in 1918, wrote a poem of that day, the first verse being:
Hooge! More damned than Sodom and more Bloody,
'Twas there we faced the flames of liquid fire,
Hooge! That shambles where the flames swept ruddy:
A spume of heat and hate and omens dire;
A vision of a concrete hell from whence
Emerged satanic forms, or so it seemed
To us who, helpless saw them hasten hence
Scarce understood we if we waked or dreamed.
George Boswell has no known grave but his name is commemorated on the Menim Gate along with 54,000 officers and men like him.