Wednesday, June 28, 2006

G/2658 Pte George Cheeseman, Royal Fusiliers

George Cheeseman appears on the 1901 census of England and Wales as a six year old living with his family at South Street, Chailey. The household comprised Julian Cheeseman (head, a 36 year old Chailey-born farmer), his wife Mary Jane Cheeseman (also aged 36, born in Glyndebourne) and their four children: Julian Cheeseman (aged 11), Flora Cheeseman (aged nine), George, and Laura Cheeseman (aged one). All four children had been born in Chailey.

There were also at least two other children. The 1891 census notes five year old Catherine Annie Cheesman [sic] and her three year old sister, Mabel Ellen Cheesman [sic]. Mabel Ellen appears on the 1901 census working as a general domestic servant at the home of William Parks in Chailey Village but I have been unable to trace her older sister. George’s brother Julian is recorded on the 1901 census as being blind but there is no mention of this disability on the 1891 census.

Soldiers Died in The Great War tells us that George Cheeseman enlisted with the Royal Fusiliers in Hounslow, Middlesex and gave his place of residence as Brighton. He was given the number G/2658 and posted to the 2nd Battalion.

Chailey Parish Magazine first mentions him in October 1915, noting that he is serving in the Dardanelles but in actual fact he had already been dead for at least three months by the time this information appeared. He was killed in action on 28th June 1915 aged 21. His body was never identified and he is commemorated on panel 8 of the Helles Memorial. Chailey Parish Magazine records him as missing in its January – April 1916 issues but includes him in its roll of honour published in May 1916. The magazine states that Cheeseman died of wounds and gives his date of death (incorrectly) as 14th June 1915. In November 1916 the parish magazine adds that George Cheeseman was Mentioned in Despatches whilst in Egypt.

The Commonwealth War Graves’ Commission adds the additional information that he was the son of Mary J Harding (formerly Cheeseman), of 1 Aberdeen Road, Brighton, and the late Julian Cheeseman.

Medal index card courtesy of Ancestry.

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