George Ernest Kilburn
Contributed by: Peter Limer, on 2009-03-28
|First Name||George Ernest|
|Year of Birth||1875|
|Year of Death||1916|
|Regiment||King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry|
|Place of Wartime Residence||Wakefield, West Yorkshire|
George Ernest's Story
The WAR DIARY for the 7th Battalion on the 14th March 1916 reads as follows:-
Killed in action, 14 march 1916, Boezinge, Belgium
"This was the last day the Battalion spent in the trenches before going into Divisional Reserve. A heavy bombardment of the enemy trenches was planned for the afternoon.
This bombardment lasted 1 & 1ÃÂ½ hours commencing at 1p.m. It was reported as being very successful, great damage apparently being done to the enemy's trenches. The hostile retaliation was heavy but did not last long. During the bombardment we lost 9 men wounded. Some time after the bombardment had ceased (about 5.30 p.m.) the enemy sent
2 salvoes of H.E. shrapnel (*)over the West Canal Bank, killing 6 men outright, and wounding one other severely. The total casualties for this day were 6 O. R. killed and 13 wounded. Up to this the Battalion had been lucky as regards casualties. The Battalion was relieved by the 12th R.Bn, the right coy. (D) being relieved by the 6th Oxford & Bucks. L.I. The relief was completed before midnight and the Battalion went by train back to POPERINGHE to its old billets.
During this tour in the trenches the Battalion on the whole was lucky as regards casualties. Until the last day there had been 3 killed and 27 wounded. On the last day in these trenches casualties were 6 killed and 14 wounded.
The weather was very bad nearly the whole time the Brigade was in.
A fair amount of snow and a lot of rain was experienced.
As a consequence several men got trench feet although gum boots were worn and hot tea and soup sent up to the men in the front line".
(*)The significance of the H.E. shrapnel shells is that they were intended to explode in mid-air, up to perhaps 30 feet above ground with the result that the shrapnel (more than likely lead ball bearings) would spray the ground and trenches with white hot metal slivers.
It would appear that George was killed in the bombardment about 5.30pm on Tuesday 14th March 1916 along with 5 other ranks and one man was severely wounded.