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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Colonel George Adshead Wilson, C/O 2/6th (RIfle) Battalion „The Kings“ Liverpool Regiment


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I am currently researching Colonel Wilson‘s career, and through my research to date have several questions with which I would appreciate assistance namely:

a) He was in command of 2/6th on their mobilisation in 1915, took them to Margate where they had a role to guard the Kentish coast. However he disappeared from command prior to their move to France. Here I am trying to find out why & the date - no luck so far

b) he reappears as C/O of the a reserve unit of the 6th Batt later in 1915 and retires in 1917. I’ll health.?

c) on the Picture attached, I note the he has the ribbon for the VD however the other ribbon is not clear for me, possibly a QV jubilee medal?




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His son Thomas was KIA in May 1915 and another son was in hospital (POW), perhaps he needed compassionate leave


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Assuming he was born in England & Wales, then the only match for the birth of a George Adshead Wilson was registered in the West Derby District of Lancashire in the July to September quarter, (Q3), of 1862 - making him 52 when the Battalion moved to billets at Cliftonville and became part of the Margate defences in March 1915, (as per the Long, Long Trail).


Reflecting the Territorial Force origins of the 2/6th, that man appears on the 1911 Census of England & Wales as a Paint Manufacturer (Employer), aged 48 and the married head of the household at 27 Alexandra Drive, Liverpool. Newspaper reports from the immediate pre-war period also him record as an Oil Merchant and director of Algerian Oilfields Ltd.

His fitness for field command, including physical fitness, would therefore have been under scrutiny.

He was also on the 1901 Census of England & Wales, so not out in South Africa at the point, if he went at all. He does appear to be absent from the 1891 Census. I suspect if he had not been campaigning before, or at least not for some time, then that would have counted against him.


The April 1915 Montly Army List, correct to the end of March, shows him as Lieutenant-Colonel and Honorary Colonel (retired) of the 2/6th. https://digital.nls.uk/british-military-lists/archive/121075646

The September 1915 Monthly Army List, correct to the end of August, has no Lieutenant-Colonel listed for the 2/6, but looking at the Majors of the 2/6, W.A.L. Fletcher, D.S.O. is shown as Lieutenant-Colonel effective 6th August 1915.



The index of Active and Reserve Army Offices for that September 1915 edition only lists two G.A. Wilson. One is a Temporary 2/Lt Royal Garrison Artillery and the other is a Major 6th Battalion Gordon Highlanders.  So definately sounds like he had stood down at that point, rather than being shunted elsewhere. Short of a newspaper report or something in his service file, and in the absense of anything in the London Gazette, then I suspect anything as to reason would be speculation.


Hope some of that helps,


Edited by PRC
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Always curious as to your research interest!


Awarded 1911 Coronation Medal (WO330 Piece 2 PRO Kew) - not digitised


To Lt-Col 7/8/12


Transcribed from the History of 2/6 KLR:
With the beginning of November things began to move apace. Colonel G. A. Wilson, V.D., was appointed Commanding Officer, and to this fact we can attribute the smartness and esprit de corps that distinguished the battalion up till the end of its history. The sound principles on which Colonel Wilson proceeded to train his battalion produced the best and most lasting results, and, without wishing in any way to overstep the mark, one may say that few, if any, battalions were brought from the early chaotic state to a well organized and self contained machine in such a short time as our own. It was not only, however, in his scheme of training that Colonel Wilson was so successful, but also in his choice of officers. He gathered round him officers of many kinds: not only young and enthusiastic members of School and University O.T.Cs., but older men also - some without military experience, it is true, but with that broader outlook and ability that more mature years bring with them; others, again, who had much military experience to their credit, and - precious above all - experience of war itself. Of the latter, Captain W. A. L. Fletcher, D.S.O., Captain C. W. Wilson, Captain G. L. Fletcher, and Captain G. P. Rogers had all served with distinction in the Boer War, and, be a war great or be it small, the knowledge that comes from actual shells and bullets is worth the having.
.  .  .  .  .  .  .
In addition, Colonel Wilson on June 20th [1915] resigned command owing to pressure of business which demanded his personal attention. As has already been said, he had laid the best foundations that a battalion could wish for. A keen "rifleman" himself, he had never been content with anything but the best. If he worked us hard, if he was stern and exacting, he always himself set the example, and the spirit of leadership with which he inspired Officers and N.C.Os remained with the battalion till its last days.



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Dear Promenade,

Dear Peter,

Dear Dave,


many thanks for your prompt responses and appreciate the additional colour you have provided on Colonel G A Wilson military & professional careers. 
also thanks Promenade regarding the confirmation of the coronation medal.




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Very simple answer  - Being a collector of volunteer decorations and awards, I find it fascinating to learn about their military & professional careers.

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Thanks for that - always nice to know about an interest in a KLR man - sometimes it may direct me to additional information in my records which may also be of interest.

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The Colonel passed away in 1929, he left a fair wedge.


From the BNA


Screenshot 2020-09-07 at 09.03.22.png

Screenshot 2020-09-06 at 18.21.51.png

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Dear Dave,

many thanks for further update.

re your earlier observation as to why he might have left his command, I have now confirmed that his cousin Colonel Thomas Wilson, Chairman of the Family firm was dying ( actual died June ) and G A Wilson had no doubt to return to run the business. Which ties in with the extract of the history of 2/6 KLR kindly provided by Promenade. Your observations would be additional reasons as well. 



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