Private George Edward Houlston died of wounds on 18th April 1918 whilst serving in France with the 4th Battalion Machine Gun Corps. He was 20 years old and was born in Solihull in 1897.
George was the eldest of the seven children (four sons, three daughters) of parents Edward (a miller) and Caroline (née Keen) who had married in the Solihull district in 1896. The eldest daughter, Millicent, died in November 1899, aged one month.
The family lived in Grove Road, Solihull from at least 1901 until at least 1939, although in 1911, 14-year-old George was living in Edgmond, Newport, Shropshire, with his paternal grandparents. His parents and their five youngest children – William Thomas (born 1901), Lilian May (born 1903), Arthur Sydney (born 1905), Leslie Joseph (born 1908) and Gertrude Gladys (1910-1986) – were still in Solihull.
George enlisted in Newport, so it’s possible that he was still living with his grandparents in Shropshire. He was initially posted to the Shropshire Light Infantry before being transferred to the Machine Gun Corps.
He is buried in Pernes British Cemetery, France and is also commemorated on Solihull war memorial.
If you have any further information, please let us know.
Heritage & Local Studies Librarian
tel.: 0121 704 6977
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