12591 Corporal George William Cash, 6th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment
Born on 5th December 1894 in Harrogate
Died on 18th July 1928 in Harrogate
George William Cash was born in Harrogate, Yorkshire, the second of the four children of William Cash and Emma née Swales.
His older sister Mary Millicent was born on 21st December 1893. A younger sister Kathleen Muriel was born on 27th March 1901 but died as an infant in 1902 (1st Quarter). His youngest sibling, Robina Marjorie, was born on 25th May 1903.
George’s father was a Joiner and the family lived at 3 Duchy Grove, Harrogate in 1901. However, his mother died, aged 38, in 1909 (2nd Quarter) and the family moved to 6 Wharfedale Avenue, Harlow Hill, Harrogate by 1911.
In the 1911 Census, 16 year old George was a Nursery Gardener, living with his widowed father and his sisters Mary, 18 and Robina, a 7 year old schoolgirl, in Harrogate.
It seems probable, however, that he moved to Little Gaddesden as a Nursery Gardener between 1911 and 1914. That would explain why he joined the Bedfordshire Regiment and why he is named on the Little Gaddesden Roll of Honour. His name does not, however, appear in any Census returns, Electoral Registers or Parish Records for Little Gaddesden.
George attested for the Bedfordshire Regiment on 27th August 1914. He was one of 16 men on the Little Gaddesden Roll of Honour who volunteered for the Bedfordshire Regiment in the first month of the War. 12473 William Wells volunteered on 26th August followed by 12589 William Grant, 12591 George Cash and almost certainly 12593 Charles Batchelor on the 27th. 13330 Frank Dove R.I.P. and 13724 Horace Halsey then joined on or before 3rd September 1914 and a further 10 men attested on 3rd September. These were 13785 Edward Saunders, 14374 Harold Catt, 14532 John Mayling, 14553 Victor Collier, 14546 Frederick Purton R.I.P., 14457 Ernest Bearton, 14575 Arthur Maunders, 17221 Bertie Purton, 17231 Herbert Fenn and 3/8219 Jesse Holland.
The Sixth Battalion
Private George Cash was then posted to the 6th Battalion, a “Service” battalion, raised in August 1914 specifically for the duration of the War. Other local volunteers who served in this Battalion included Private William Grant, Private Charles Batchelor, Private William Wells, Private Frederick Purton and, for two months, Private Bertie Purton.
The Battalion was formed around a cadre of 200 experienced soldiers from the 3rd (Reserve) Battalion, one of whom was Private Jesse Holland. They trained at Aldershot and then on Salisbury Plain until July 1915.
However, on 29th July 1915, the Battalion boarded trains at Ludgershall Station near Andover, arriving at Southampton late that afternoon. They then left for France at 6.30pm on board the Empress Queen and landed at Le Havre at 7am on 30th July 1915. They were based around St Omer before moving forward to the front line. The Battalion served entirely on the Western Front.
By October 1917, when he was briefly admitted to 14th Field Ambulance, George was a Lance Corporal. The Battalion was then serving in Belgium during the 3rd Battle of Ypres.
George was discharged from the Army on 2nd September 1919 as the result of disability. By then a Corporal, he was issued with a Silver War Badge (No. B296123) on 24th September 1919. For his War Service, George was awarded the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal and the Allied Victory Medal.
Men who have answered their country’s call in defence of a “Scrap of Paper”
George Cash is named on the Roll of Honour, which hangs in St Peter & St Paul’s Church, Little Gaddesden and lists 119 men from Little Gaddesden, Ringshall and Hudnall who served in the 1914 – 1918 War. His entry records him serving in the 6th Bn. Bedfordshire Regiment. He is similarly shown on the Centenary Revision of the Roll.
Rolls of Honour photos: Jane Dickson, Michael Carver
Returning to Harrogate 9
In 1918 and 1919, George is recorded as an Absent Voter of his family home, 6 Wharfedale Avenue, Harrogate. After discharge from the Army he returned to that address. By 1922 he, his father and his sisters had moved to 20 Wharfedale Avenue.
In the 2nd Quarter of 1923, George married Minnie Robinson in Sunderland. George and Minnie then lived at 4 Plantation Road, Harrogate in 1924 and 102 Dragon Parade Harrogate between 1925 and 1928.
32 year old George William Cash, a Watch Maker and Repairer of 102 Dragon Parade, died in Harrogate Infirmary on 18th July 1928. He died of a Pulmonary Haemorrhage and Emphyema.
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Research, text and (unless otherwise credited) photos: Jane Dickson