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George Thomas Cole (1895-1918)

Sacriston man served with 22nd DLI

George Thomas Cole was born in Belmont in 1895. The Cole family moved from Belmont to Sacriston some time between the 1901 and 1911 censuses. George Thomas worked as a grocer’s assistant, and, from the article quoted below, it seems as if we were something of a local character.

George Thomas attested at Sacriston on 6 December 1915 and by June of the next year, he was in France with the 22nd Battalion Durham Light Infantry (DLI).

He was wounded in the abdomen on 24 March 1918. He was taken to the 25th Field Ambulance and then to 47 Casualty Clearing Station, where he died of wounds the following day.

His mother took receipt of the following items on 3 August 1918:

Letter, photos, pocket wallet, letter case, mirror in case, treasury note case, cigarette case, watch and chain, cards.

This article appeared in the Chester le Street Chronicle, 26 April 1918:


Official news has been received of the death in action on 25th March of Pte. George Cole (22) late of 32 Hunter Street, Sacriston. In civil life this local hero was in the employ of Messrs. Willis and Son, baker and confectioners, with whom he was held in high esteem, bearing as he did a most exemplary character, and from a business standpoint his services were highly valued, showing great tact and pushfulness. The deceased enjoyed this well placed confidence of his employers for upwards of two years, who, together with a large number of their customers, learn of his death with the greatest possible regret.

Civil Parish: Witton Gilbert

Birth date: 1896

Death date: 25-Mar-1918

Armed force/civilian: Army

Residence: 7 Eden Terrace, Belmont (1901 census)
21 Durham Street, Sacriston (1911 census)
32 Hunter Street, Sacriston

Religion: Church of England

Organisation membership: Durham Light Infantry, 22nd Battalion (Soldiers Died), 26th Battalion (CWGC)

Employment: Grocer’s assistant (1911 census)
vanman (1916, army service record)
worked for Willis and Son, baker and confectioners (Chester-le-Street Chronicle)

Family: Parents: Thomas Cole, Alice Cole
Brothers: John Henry Cole, Robert Cole (Army Service Record)

Military service:

Attested at Sacriston: 6 December 1915
Regimental number: 30137
Joined on enlistment: 24th Battalion Durham Light Infantry
Transferred to 22nd DLI
Disembarked, France: 16 June 1916

Medal(s): British War Medal
Victory Medal

Memorial(s): Rosieres British Cemetery, France
Saint Peter’s Church, Front Street, Sacriston (now at Sacriston Working Men’s Club)
Sacriston Institute, Front Street, roll of honour (now Fulforth Centre)

Gender: Male

Contributed by Sacriston Heritage Group | Durham County Record Office. Jack Mulligan and Lewis Cooper

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