Tuesday, October 07, 2014

315261 Pioneer George Page, Royal Engineers

In its first published roll call of local serving men in October 1914, Chailey Parish Magazine notes that George Page is serving his King and Country. Twelve months later he is noted as serving with the 1st Royal Sussex Regiment in England but by December 1915 is recorded as being in India. 

In January 1917 the parish magazine notes against his name that he is missing but by January 1918 he is being recorded simply as Page, Pte G, RE. This information is then repeated monthly up to and including December 1918 after which there is no further information about this man. From the information provided in Chailey’s parish magazine I have been unable to match George Page with certainty to any named individuals in census returns or to provide a link between him and Chailey. Subsequently however, and thanks to the work of a Newick-based researcher, Simon Stevens, I have discovered that George Robert Page was a pupil at Newick school between 1899 and 1906. John Oldaker, the headmaster there during the First World War, contacted ex-pupils and asked them to send him photos of themselves in army uniform. He also made notes about their service careers. For George Page he has this to say: “Enlisted 1910. Royal Sussex Regt, 1st Batt. In India during the war. Transferred to RE. Died in India 1919.”

The National Archives records him as L/9311 Private George Page, Royal Sussex Regiment, later 315261 Pioneer George Page, Royal Engineers. His Royal Sussex Regiment number confirms that he was a career soldier who enlisted in late 1909 or early 1910. He may be related to John and Thomas Page who also appear in Chailey’s roll call of local serving men. The photo that appears on this page is a detail taken from what was probably an In Memoriam type photograph which, in its turn, had been cropped from a group photo.

George was originally buried in Landi Kotal Cemetery and his name is also carved onto the Delhi Memorial (India Gate) in New Delhi. His name does not appear on either the Chailey or Newick war memorials.

Medal index card face and reverse courtesy of Ancestry; photograph of George Page courtesy of Simon Stevens.

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