Private George Edward Paston, of 1st Battalion, King’s (Liverpool) Regiment, died of wounds on 21st September 1914, aged 32. He was the first of three brothers to die in the war.
George was born in Berkswell in 1883, and baptised there on 29th July 1883, with parents listed as George (a labourer) and Ann. By the age of 7, he had moved with his parents and siblings to Burton Hastings, on the Warwickshire/Leicestershire border. His younger siblings were born in Stoneleigh, Balsall, and Berskwell, indicating how the family moved around. It looks as if the move to Burton Hastings took place in 1890/1. The family’s move from Berkswell is presumably why George Edward Paston’s name isn’t included on Berkswell war memorial.
By 1901, the family had moved to Bulkington, Warwickshire, and George’s father had changed his occupation from agricultural labourer to a banksman, working above ground in a coal mine.
George married Gertrude Elizabeth Jackson in 1907, in Leicestershire, and set up home with her at her parents’ house. Their son, Henry, was born there in 1909 and they were still living with their in-laws by 1911 when George was working as a brick burner. His residence was recorded as Bulkington when he enlisted in the Army.
It seems that George’s service record hasn’t survived, so it’s not known when he enlisted, only that he first entered a Theatre of War on 12th August 1914, which suggests he was in the Army Reserve. His medal index card gives his date of death as 12th October 1914, but the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website lists his date of death as 21st September 1914. Interestingly, both the medal index card and the Soldiers Died in the Great War volume list his surname as “Baston”. We only know for sure it’s the correct person because they also include his service number, 8885, which ties up with the Commonwealth War Graves entry.
It looks as if George’s wife, Gertrude, outlived him by 58 years. She died in Leicester in 1972 at the age of 94.
If you have any more information about George Edward Paston, please let us know.
Heritage & Local Studies Librarian
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