28th May 1917

On 28th May 1917 40-year-old George Dipple, a former groom, was killed in action whilst serving as a Gunner with 296th Siege Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery. Born in Ullenhall, he was the third of four children born to parents John (an agricultural labourer) and Martha (née Wiggett) who had married at Ullenhall in 1870.

The family moved to Lapworth from Ullenhall between 1874 and 1880, and remained there until at least 1902 when father, John, died aged 64. George had left the family home by 1891 when, aged 14, he was a servant at Darley Mill, Packwood. By 1901, he was working as a groom and was a boarder at The Institute, Lapworth.

In April 1904, George Dipple married Rosa Dutton at Lapworth parish church, and they went on to have six children: Dorothy (born 1904), Gladys (born 1905), Nellie (born 1908), George Arthur (1910-1972), Rosa (born 1912) and John (1914-1986)

By 1911, George had become a farmer and was living at Windmill Farm, Lapworth. The Warwick and Warwickshire Advertiser of 20th September 1913 carried an announcement that he was intending to leave Windmill Farm and had instructed Henley Auction Sales Ltd to sell:

  • 10 dairy and store cattle, 3 down calving cows, 3 in-milk cows, yearling heifer, and 3 reared calves
  • 3 nag horses
  • 18 pigs, 2 sows and their pigs
  • dairy utensils
  • growing roots, 3/4 of an acre of mangolds, and 3/4 of an acre of potatoes

When he joined the Army in June 1916, aged 39 years and nine months, he gave his address as Manor Cottage, Kingswood, Hockley Heath, and his occupation as groom and stockman. He first entered a Theatre of War on 30th March 1917, and was killed in action almost two months later, leaving his widow, Rosa, with six children aged three to 13. She remarried in 1920, marrying William J. Hancock and, by 1939, they were living in Station Road, Warwick. Rosa appears to have died in 1966, aged 88.

George Dipple is buried at Westhof Farm Cemetery, France, and is also commemorated locally at Rowington.

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

Heritage & Local Studies Librarian

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

One thought on “28th May 1917

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  1. Thank-you Tracey. George Dipple was my grandfather. My mother, Nellie Dipple, remembered playing in the circular foundations of the windmill. I have a photograph of Windmill Farm; it was demolished long ago. Manor Cottage was condemned, living conditions must have been very harsh. I have a few touching letters, brown and fragile with age. He wrote home on Sunday, 27th May 1917, he’d heard the cuckoo, he was killed the following day at 10.30am and was buried the same day. Westhof Farm cemetery is beautifully tended by the War Graves Commission. I’m pleased you have been able to tell the story of one of the unsung men.
    Thank-you again, Dawn

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