George Ormrod

 

Lieutenant
5th Bn, Royal Sussex Regiment

George Ormrod died on 18 September 1918, whilst serving with the 5th (Cinque Ports) Battalion (Territorial), Royal Sussex Regiment, and is buried in Cerisy-Gailly Military Cemetery (Grave Ref. III J. 14).

The Card Index to the First World War Army Medal Rolls show him as also serving with the Royal Sussex Regiment as Private 4203.

George was promoted from Second Lieutenant to Lieutenant in February 1918. He had served with the Royal Sussex Regiment as a Second Lieutenant since August 1916.

George's entry on The King's College London War Memorial website records:

"Lieut George Ormrod came up to King's in 1906 from Hulme Grammar School, Oldham. He took a Pass Course in the Faculty of Arts, and in 1909 gained Prof. Spiers' Scholarship to the Alliance Francaise, as well as his Bachelor's degree. He made a name for himself as an enthusiastic footballer and first rate athlete; he played centre-half in the Soccer First XI., and captained the team in the season 1908-1909. He embraced the scholastic profession upon leaving King's and was appointed to the staff of the Maidstone Grammar School, where he remained until, in March, 1916, he was gazetted to the Royal Sussex Regiment., and was drafted to France after a very short period of training. His battalion fought hard and successfully near St. Quentin, throughout the whole of the 18th September, 1918, and his commanding officer has recognised Mr, Ormrod's splendid work on that occasion. In a further attack which began at midnight, Mr. Ormrod took command of his company (his captain having been wounded earlier) and was passing to the flank platoon to direct operations when one of the orderlies who accompanied him was hit. He stopped at once, and was in the act of tying up the man's wounds when a burst of machine-gun fire caught them and killed both. A second orderly, though badly wounded, managed to crawl back and give information. In letters to Mrs Ormrod, the colonel, the chaplain, and other officers of the regiment have spoken very highly of Mr, Ormrod's character and ability, and the colonel expresses the regret of all ranks of the battalion upon the loss of such a popular officer. King's College Review, Dec. 1918."

The site further records that he is commemorated in King's College Chapel, London.

A project researching former Maidstone Grammar School students who died in the First World War records:

"George Ormrod

(Teacher)

Lieutenant

MGS Career

George Ormrod was appointed as a staff member on the 16th of September 1914. He taught French and English at the school, for a salary of around 160 rising to 200 a year. He played a part in the school community, playing in the school cricket team, along with students who also fought in the war, such as Lewis Blunden.

Background

George Ormrod was one of two staff members of the school, who fought in the Great War. He was born in 1888 to John and Charlotte Ormrod, he was educated in Hulme Grammar School from 1899-1904, then onto Oldham P.T. Centre and finally King's College London. He graduated with 1st Class Honours from the University of London, with degrees in Maths, Latin, Greek and French in 1909. He taught at a few schools before joining MGS; Yaristrick G S, Hertford G S and Brighton G S.

Military Record

George Ormrod left MGS in the autumn of 1915, after only a year at the school. He joined the Army in March 1916 after undergoing surgery to make him fit for service. He trained at the 8th Cadet school at Lichfield. He was later gazetted to the 5th Battalion of the Royal Sussex Regiment in August 1916 and was drafted out to France. He "saw service on all parts of the French front, notably at the Somme, at Nieuport and at Passchendaele". On September 18th 1918 at night, he was in command of his company (which was responsible for the capture of prisoners and machine guns) and "all was going well, and he was passing to a flank platoon when a hidden nest of machine guns was encountered. One of his orderlies was wounded, and while in the act of helping him, both Ormrod and a second orderly were wounded. He called to the man to attend to his own wound first, which he did. Afterwards, when the orderly crawled back, he found that Ormrod was dead."

Obituary

It was not possible to retrieve Ormrod's body until the 30th of September; on the 1st of October he was buried at a little cemetery at the crossroads of St. Helene. For his work on the 18th of September, he was strongly recommended for the Military Cross, but because he died on the day after, due to Army Regulations, he could not be awarded the Military Cross. The school described him as "a man in the best sense of the work, whose unselfish nature predominated event to the end. He knew how to play the game, and he played it regardless of the cost." He is now buried at the Cerisy-Gailly Military Cemetery in France. He was married to Margaret, who lived at 17 Hastings Road."

 

George's grave in Cerisy-Gailly Military Cemetery