George Richard BATSON 1899 – 1918
These notes have been kindly supplied by Peter Hannah
George Richard Batson was the older brother of Ernest Albert Batson (1904- 1974), who married Annie Elizabeth Hannah.
Ernest’s son Ronald (1933-2014) was given George’s 1st World War medals following his fathers death in 1974. Following Ron’s death, I was asked to look into the details of George and the following information is what I have found. The hope was to find a living relative of the Batson family to pass the medals onto. This has proved difficult and the medals are presently with Ron’s widow Anne.
His name was George Richard Batson and he was born in the last quarter of 1899, the exact date is unknown. By the 1911 Census he was 11 years of age and one of 9 children of Henry & Flora, however 3 of his siblings had already died and a fourth was to follow, all under the age of 5. This left 3 sisters and his youngest brother Ern.
When the 1st World War broke out the family were living in Blackshaw Rd, Tooting, not far from where St George’s Hospital is. However, although George must have signed up locally, when he became old enough, he was at some point transferred to the 7th Battalion The Lincolnshire Regiment. On the 10th April 1918 aged 18 he signed his informal Will, presumably before departing for France.
Where his Regiment was posted in France and where he was is not known but towards the end of August 1918 the Second Battles of the Somme and Arras 1918, the advance into Flanders and the Battles of the Hindenburg Line where underway. Sometime towards the end of August he was injured on the battlefield, so it’s feasible that he may have been involved in one of these battles. He was hospitalised in France for 8 days and was then repatriated to the University War Hospital in Southampton where he died of his wounds on the 5th September 1918 aged 19. His Death Certificate made grim reading as it would appear that he had his left leg amputated in France following multiple gun shot wounds. The Death Certificate goes on to confirm that gangrene set in and it also mentioned “gas” so it’s possible that he may have suffered a gas attack at the time he was shot.
George was buried in Wandsworth Cemetery where his name appears on the Remembrance Wall, although there is no Commonwealth War Graves Headstone for him, he is buried in the ground in front of the wall.