SETCHELL, George Thomas

No.325049, Private, George Thomas SETCHELL
Aged 21

1st/8th Battalion, Lancashire Fusiliers
formerly No.331015, Cambridgeshire Regiment
Killed in Action on Tuesday, 4th September 1917

George Thomas Setchell was born in Stansfield in 1896 (Risbridge Q1-1896 4A:733), son of George John and Elizabeth SETCHELL (née BROWN).

1901 census... Aged 5, he was at Purton Green, Stansfield with his father George J. Setchell [32] stockman, born Little Downham, Cambs; his mother Elizabeth [32]; brother Herbert [7] and sister Rose [2]. All except his father were born in Stansfield.

1911 census... Aged 15, a farm labourer, he was at Purton Hall, Stansfield with his parents (father now a gardener); brothers Herbert (farm labourer), and Ernest William [9];sisters Rose and Jessie [6]. The new siblings also born in Stansfield.

He enlisted in " .
The battalion war diary has:-
Battn HQ at SQUARE FARM (see location below)....Artillery active around BORRY FRM, BECK HOUSE and IBERIAN on morning of 3rd causing 3rd part of garrison of the front line to be withdrawn to close support, returning at dusk.
4th..Artillery programme similar to yesterday. Part of garrison of the front line withdrawn till dusk. On the night of 4th/5th the unit less "D" Coy., which remained in the line, was relieved by one Coy of the 1/6th LAN.FUS and two Coy of 1/6 MANCHESTERS. The companies relieved went back to positions previously occupied when in support.

CWGC record 11 of the battalion killed on 4th September 1917

The Bury Free Press of 27th October 1917 reported :-

Mr. and Mrs. G.Setchell, of Purton Hall, Stansfield have recently been informed that their second son, Prvt.Geo. Setchell, 18th Lancashire Fusiliers, was killed in action on Sept.5th. Deceased, who was 21 years of age, was much liked and respected by all who knew him. Deep sympathy is felt for his parents, brothers and sister in their sad bereavement. Mr. and Mrs. Setchell's eldest son, Prvt Herbert Setchell is on active service in France. The following letters have been received.
"Belgium Sept.9th:-My dear Miss Setchell- I presume by this time you will have heard of your brother's death. I understand our officer, Mr.Springbett is writing to inform your father and mother. I have your address by coming across a letter which you sent to him. I am sorry to say I was the only one with him when it happened, and that he would not suffer any pain. I took him to the dressing station, and he passed away on the road. I reported it to our officers and I suppose they will have written to your parents about it. It happened on the morning of September 5th, about 2 a.m. His friend called Spookes was intending to write to you, but he is in hospital himself now, so he will probably be writing you or your parents later on. If there are any further particulars you should require I will be only too pleased to forward them on. Please accept my deepest sympathy in your trouble, and convey the same to your father and mother. Yours very sincerely J.SWEETING."

"10th September 1917 - Dear Mr. Setchell - It is with very great regret that I have to write and confirm the sad news of your son's death on the 5th September, the official report of which you will have received no doubt before this reaches you. It was not so long ago that he joined our Battalion and was posted to my platoon and it does seem so terrible that he should have been killed after such a short time with us. I had much of an opportunity to get to know well all the men of the new drafts recently attached to us, but I have always found them cheery and willing to do their work in the best possible way, and it may be of some small consolation to you to know your son was skilled after having faithfully performed a rather severe task.
He was one of a party of men sent up from our support line at night to carry rations and water up to the front line, and on the way up the party were broken up somewhat badly by heavy enemy shelling. Your son, however, with one other man named Sweeting, succeeded in getting through with his load, and was on his way back when another shell burst close to them and a large fragment appears to have hit him in the back. Sweeting, who rather marvellously escaped injury, secured prompt assistance and you son was quickly conveyed to the nearest dressing station, but I regret to say passed away immediately on arriving there. It may be somewhat of a relief to you to know that he did not suffer much pain, as he was unconscious almost directly after he was hit. Nothing that I can say will be much consolation to you in your great bereavement> I can only ask you to accept my deepest sympathy and express the hope that in days to come you may find comfort in the proud knowledge that your boy gave up his young life in a gallant manner for his King and Country. With great respect, believe me to be, your very truly S.A.Springbett, 2nd Lieut.1/8 Lancashire Fusiliers."

The position on 4th September 1917

George Thomas Setchell is buried in Aeroplane Cemetery, Ypres grave 1:B:6

click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details

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