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Lance Corporal George Harrison
4690/242269 , 1/5th Cumberland Battalion, Border Regiment
Born 9th December 1897. Died Nov 1952 aged 54, Scarfoot, Patterdale
Son of William and Jane (nee Hindson) Harrison of Brotherswater Cottage
Husband of Elizabeth Graham
Father of Henry William Harrison. Beloved Grand Father
George Harrison was born on the 9th December 1897 in Hartsop, where his parents William and Jane Harrison lived at Brotherswater Cottage. William was a Miner at Hartsop Hall Mine, like his father George before him. Both were “separators of Metal” at Hartsop Hall Mine. The Harrisons were one of the oldest families in the Dale -
In June 1904 George’s grandfather George died aged 85. An even greater tragedy struck the family in May 1910 when George’s father died, aged just 43. In the same month George’s Grandmother Jane died aged 83. The following year Jane and the family living were still living at Brotherswater Cottage but now joined by Jane's brother & wife Joseph and Mary J Hindson. After leaving school we know that George became a joiners apprentice, and was still living with his mother at Brotherswater Cottage.
On the 18th January 1916, aged 18 years and 1 month, George signed up with the Border Regiment in Keswick. We joined the army reserve and was mobilised on the 22nd May 1916. He remained with the 4th Battalion (training) through the rest of 1916 and on the 15th January 1917 he joined the BEF in France. We believe that he only stayed in France for a couple of months before returning to the UK on the 18th March. He returned again to France at the start of 1918, we think joining the 1/5th Cumberland Battalion of the Border Regiment.
On the 7th May 1918 they were transferred to 97th Brigade in 32nd Division. On the 29th September 1918 George’s Battalion was part of a pivotal battle in the course of World War One, the Battle of St Quentin Canal. This involved British, Australian and American forces in a spearhead attack and as a single combined force against the German Siegfried Stellung of the Hindenburg Line. On the very first day of this action George was wounded, receiving a gun shot wound (GSW) -
When he returned home he continued his apprenticeship as a joiner and by the time he married Elizabeth Graham (who lived at Scarfoot in Patterdale), on 12th August 1922, he was a qualified joiner. Elizabeth was the brother of Bill, Jack and Joe Graham, who had all fought in the war. George and Elizabeth had a son, Henry William in 1924 and by then had moved into The Township in Patterdale. At some point shortly afterwards they moved into Elizabeth’s old home of Scarfoot in Patterdale, which would remain in the family until 2013. Part of the house was used as George’s joinery workshop where he used to make coffins amongst other things. George died of a heart attack in November 1952 aged 54 and Elizabeth died in January 1971 aged 73. Their son Henry William married Irene and they had three sons. He ran the Post Office in Patterdale from 1954. Henry William died in February 1990 aged 66. Irene died in 2013 whilst still living at Scarfoot. For many years they ran the petrol pumps from outside Scarfoot and the next door snack bar. The family still live in Cumbria and continue George’s trade with a highly successful joinery and building businesses.
In terms of George’s siblings, Emmeline married John Sedgwick, a 35 year old Clerk from Chester on 2nd February 1921. We know they had at least one daughter, Joan Gladys, who was baptised on 16th July 1922. His other sisters Frances Isabel and Gladys May never married, and lived together for many years in a house in Hartsop built by George (now the Outward Bound centre) before moving together to Penrith. Frances died in 1968 and Gladys in 1982. Sadly George’s youngest brother, William Redhead had died back in February 1931 aged just 20.
We are very grateful to George’s family for the information and pictures they have shared with us. If you have any more information on George or his family please let us know.
The extract from George’s Pension record showing evidence of the gun shot wounds (GSW) he received to his arm and thigh and below George’s Medal Card
Update July 2020 -
In July 2020 we were contacted by Gaby Mitchelson who kindly sent the photo below of the gravestone of James Harrison, who was George’s uncle. James had sadly died in 1942 at the age of 76 and is buried in Puerto Natales, Patagonia Chile. We have yet to discover how we ended up there but if you have any information please do contact us.
The famous photo of Brigadier General J V Campbell addressing troops of the 137th Brigade (46th Division) from the Riqueval Bridge over the St Quentin Canal -