George William Garrington (1893-1918)
John Garrington, George's father was a blacksmith who was born in Ireland. Elizabeth Jane Hall, who he married in late 1892, was from Hartlepool, and that was where they were living in 1901, by which time they had two children, George, born 1893 and Eda, born 1900.
We cannot know why but some time in the early 1900s the family moved south to Huddersfield. Unfortunately, in early 1908, tragedy struck. John died leaving Elizabeth, at 45, a widow far from family, alone and with two children to raise.
In these circumstances life cannot have been easy and Elizabeth Garrington worked as a domestic cook to support her small family, probably at one of the many big houses across Lindley. At 14, George had left school and was an apprentice brass finisher, presumably a good trade.
Elizabeth, George and Eda lived in a three-room house in Thorncliffe Street in the heart of the village around West and Lidget Street. Ed and her mother probably shared a bedroom. One downstairs room was for cooking and sitting in.
We have no service record to tell us when George joined the army. His medal card, however, says he served in "The Balkans" by which it probably means Gallipoli, from 26 October 1915, which means he was in the army sometime before that and possibly with 9th Battalion of the West Yorkshire Regiment, which did go to Turkey.
Since the 12th Battalion was disbanded in February 1918, probably after serious losses, and the fact George died in Germany soon after the war ended, it seems likely he was a Prisoner of War, captured before that date.
It is also possible that he died of influenza while awaiting repatriation — he was certainly on the Absent Voters List — and it was at the end of the epidemic's second outbreak. Whatever the circumstances of his death, Elizabeth had lost one of her two children only ten years after the death of her husband. She herself lived on until 1939 when the next war began.
Huddersfield's Roll of Honour: 1914-1922
The following extract is from Huddersfield's Roll of Honour: 1914-1922 (2014) by J. Margaret Stansfield:
- GARRINGTON, GEORGE WILLIAM. Private. No 19617. 12th Battalion West Yorkshire Regiment. Born West Hartlepool. Enlisted Huddersfield. Lived Lindley, Huddersfield. Died in Germany, 15.12.1918. Buried HAMBURG CEMETERY, OHLSDORF, GERMANY. Grave location:- Plot 6, Row B, Grave 15.
- ROH:- St. Stephen's Church, Lindley.
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
- Private GARRINGTON
- regiment: West Yorkshire Regiment
- died: Sunday, December 15, 1918
- record ID: 902324
- Commonwealth War Graves Commission (ID #902324)
- Imperial War Museums: Lives of the First World War (ID #1311444)