Private George Weller

Thank you to John Callcutt for letting us reproduce the following information, taken from his book: A Village at War. Newdigate in World War One.

George Weller was christened Frederick George in 1885 and was the only son of Frederick and Agnes Weller. As soon as he left school George followed his father and laboured on the local farms, as had his grandfather and great grand-father before him.

Like his cousins, Ernest and Percy Weller, he answered the call and joined the army. He was living at Ratfield Cottages, Beare Green, and enlisted with the 11th Battalion, the Queen’s, at Guildford on the 22nd November 1915. His medical examination certificate showed that he was unmarried and was a small but healthy man weighing just under nine and a half stone and under five foot six inches tall. He was described as a carter.

The battalion left Aldershot on the 3rd May for Southampton but, owing to fog, embarkation on the Cesarea, was delayed. Havre was not reached until the fifth of May 1916. A period of intense training followed and, over the subsequent months the Battalion occupied a number of front-line positions. After a period of inactivity, the Battalion left Alberta Camp in Reninghelst and occupied a position in Old French Trench.

At zero hour (3.10 a.m. on the seventh of June 1917) a large mine exploded and the barrage opened with great intensity. The leading wave entered the German trenches without great difficulty. The ground had been very much cut up by shell fire and nearly all the trenches obliterated, so there was difficulty in recognising any particular portion of the enemy lines. Four officers and twenty-nine other ranks were killed that day and five officer and 157 other ranks were wounded.

Private George Weller was one of those killed, and is remembered at Ypres on the Menin Gate Memorial which would indicate that the whereabouts of his body were unknown. However his identity disc and one photograph were found and returned to his half-sister, Lilian Evans at 459 Cokeham Cottage, Sompting, near Worthing. His father was already dead and his mother died aged just 55 shortly after her son’s death. The Victory Medal and British War Medal were sent to Lilian Evans in July 1921.

Lived                           Beare Green, Surrey

Son of                         Frederick and Agnes Weller of Newdigate, Dorking, Surrey

Enlisted                        Guildford, Surrey

Regiment                     11th Battalion, The Queen’s Royal West Surrey
Number                       G/6934

Date of Death              7th June 1917
Place of Death             Reninghelst, Belgium
Cause of Death            Killed in Action

Age                              32

Memorial                     Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Belgium

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