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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

George Simkiss - Machine gun Corps


welshrabbit77

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Dear all,

Can anyone please help me to find any details about my relative Private George Simkiss? He was born in 1897 in Culmington, Shropshire. From CWGC - His Military Number was 63500. He was a member of 8th Bt, Machine gun corps. Died one week after the armistice 18/11/1918. Commemorated at Vis-en-Artois memorial.

I do know that he was injured and was sent to Torquay to recover in July 1817 as I have a copy of a letter home to his sister. He was then sent back to war.

I have looked on ancestry but could only find his medal roll card. Can anyone find any details about him and where the 8th bt. were at the end of the war? Where should I look for more information?

Many thanks,

Ruth.

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Welcome to the forum Ruth,

George enlisted in Ludlow and was a resident of Craven Arms, he is also listed as having 'died' on that date, the term would suggest that he died of illness. A quick search of the burnt documents at the National Archives would suggest that his service papers didn't survive the Blitz of 1940. His MIC would indicate that he didn't arrive overseas until after January 1916 at the earliest. The reference that follows his medal entitlement will lead you to the Medal Rolls which are held at the NA and can only be viewed in person, they may hold some useful information,

Jon

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Thank you all for your help, I will do as suggested and see if I can get to the NA,

It was so sad when I found out of George's death after the Armistice, I just thaught that I would share the letter that I have, sent by George to his sister Winifred from hospital in Torquay, Devon 2/7/1917

Dear Win,

Just a few lines in answer to your ever welcome letter of the other day. Well Win, I am glad to tell you as my knee is going on alright the wound is healed all up but the knee is much warmer than the other one so it is not all together right yet, but I can walk fairly well. But I intend swinging the lead with it now as this is much better than soldiering.

It is as comfortable here as if I was at home, I can tell you that I don't want to see France again, as it is much worse than hell on earth when you are in the trenches and I do hope that Jack will not have to go out, but still if he does he will never have to go in the trenches as he is in the RFA they are always about a mile and a half behind the line, they never catch any bullets but they get shelled sometimes.

There is one thing if Jack do go out, he will never be in a bayonet charge like I was when I got this.

I don't think that the war will last very long now as there is another offensive coming off in the beggining of this month right from Ypres to the coast and I think that will just about finish the Germans off as they are about fed up like us.

Torquay is a very pretty place and hundreds of girls so we are all right. I can do here for the duration. We get fed like toffs five meals a day, different to army rations.

Well Win I am sending you one of those photos as you wanted I should have rote back before only I had to wait for the photo to be printed.

Well there is no more news for now as I must close with love from George.

Thank you again,

Ruth.

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Ruth,

Would you mind if i used the letter for my own personal research. This letter is as sad as it is unique, in time i hope to create an online memorial for the men of Shropshire. I would be grateful and honoured if could use the letter to remember George.

Neil

Culmington Church

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Forgot to add

He is also remembered on Stokesay memorial., it's around 5 miles from Culmington.

Neil

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Dear Neil, Yes of course you may use the words in the letter, It would be a great memorial to George,

Thank you for asking permission,

Ruth.

Very kind of you Ruth

I'll remember him next Tuesday, if i find out anything else, i'll let you know.

Neil

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  • 2 years later...
Guest Emma1Naomi3

According to an article in the Church Stretton Advertiser George Simkiss was taken prisoner of war and died whilst in captivity. There were rumours, according to the local POW committee, that he "simply died of ill treatment and starvation." This should perhaps be viewed with caution since there had been rumours that another local man who had died in captivity had done so because of ill treatment but when a fellow POW came home he told the mayor that he had died of dysentery but had received all the care that could have been given.

May I too ask permission please to use extracts from the letter you posted in my forthcoming book.

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