George Sumner Ormerod


Lieutenant Colonel
9th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles

George Sumner Ormerod was the commanding officer of the 9th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles, during the First World War.

The First World War Medal Rolls show that George was entitled to the British War Medal, Victory Medal and 1914/15 Star (having been in France from October 1915).

Brigadier F.P. Crozier describes George Sumner Ormerod in his book A Brass Hat in No Man's Land.

"... my new commanding officer is Lieutenant-Colonel G.S. Ormerod, late of the Munsters ... He is a wondeful man. Aged just over sixty, he served in Burma and South Africa with the Munsters, for which campaigns he holds the medals. Retired for age, as a major,  after long service in the East, he commanded a special reserve battalion of his regiment for more than the allotted span. Now, once more he comes in to fill the breach, active, fit and alert in body and mind, at a time of life when many men are in retirement, the reward of an ordered and reasonable existence. A great cricketer and sportsman, Colonel Ormerod belongs to the M.C.C. and bats regularly at the nets at Lord's. There is a difference of twenty-five years in age between us; he being old enough, in the familiar phrase, to be my father. But we shall get on together."

George Sumner Ormerod fell ill in the trenches and was eventually hospitalised suffering from pneumonia. He made a marvellous recovery, and was actually passed fit again for service in France.

F.P. Crozier describes how "The divisional commander, thinking it unwise that the doughty veteran should return, causes him to be stopped on the boat at Southampton. Colonel Ormerod commanded a reserve battalion and a prisoner-of-war camp until 1919, a grateful country awarding him nothing for his unique service - while skrimshankers waxed fat."

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Lieut.-Colonel G.S. Ormerod and officers, 9th Royal Irish Rifles, 1915

George Sumner's grave in the churchyard at Chagford, Devon