29th January 1917

Private George William Irons of 11th Battalion, The King’s (Liverpool) Regiment, died in France on 29th January 1917. He was the second of three brothers from Castle Bromwich to die in the war.

George William Irons was born in Castle Bromwich on 15th March 1882 and baptised at St Mary & St Margaret’s Church in the village on 7th May 1882. His parents, Charles (a labourer) and Lizzie (née White) had married in Aston in 1876. George was the third of their 16 children (nine sons, seven daughters).  Lizzie died in 1909, aged 52.

The two eldest children – Annie Elizabeth (born 1877) and John Daniel (born 1878) were both born in Aston. By 1881, the family had moved to The Green, Castle Bromwich, where they remained until at least 1911. Two of the younger children, twins Dora Mary and Florence Hilda (born 1899), were boarders at Preston Hospital, near Wellington, in 1911. There was a link with Castle Bromwich as the hospital was founded in 1716 under the will of Catherine, Lady Herbert, daughter of the 1st Earl of Bradford as almhouses for 12 women and 12 girls. The women were widows of good station but in reduced circumstances. The girls were aged 7-14 (rising to 10-16 by 1880), lodged in dormitories, and the older girls were taught dairying with the expectation of going into service.

By 1901, aged 19, George was working as a printer and was living with his parents in Castle Bromwich. He had left the family home by 1911 and, still working as a printer, was boarding in Saltley, Birmingham with his married sister, Sarah Martha, and her husband, Jesse Talbot.

George must have enlisted in the Army soon after the outbreak of war. He joined at Liverpool and first entered a theatre of war on 15th May 1915. He died on 29th January 1917 and is buried at Hazebrouk Communal Cemetery, France. He is commemorated locally on the Castle Bromwich war memorial, and on the memorial plaque in St Mary & St Margaret’s Church – the same church in which he was baptised.

One brother, Edward Arthur died in 1919, whilst another, Alfred Richard, died at sea in August 1916.

If you have any further information about the family, please let us know.

Heritage & Local Studies Librarian

tel.: 0121 704 6977
email: heritage@solihull.gov.uk


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