2568/330587 Private Edward Georgeson

Prior to his enlistment, Edward Georgeson lived at 54, White Moss Road, Skelmersdale. His parents lived at Cardiff Street, Skelmersdale. He was the son of John Georgeson. Prior to the outbreak of the Great War, Edward was a miner at the Holland Colliery, Skelmersdale.

He was 18 years old, 5ft 6½ inches tall and had a 37½ inch chest when he enlisted into his local Territorial Battalion, the 9th King's Liverpool Regiment, on 26th September 1914 and was given the service number 2568. Once posted to his battalion he trained at Tunbridge Wells from just before Christmas 1914 until he left England, for France, on 12th March, 1915 with the original contingent of the 1/9th Battalion. This was the battalion's first deployment overseas and they were to join the 1st Division of the British Expeditionary Force.

He served in France from 12th March 1915 until 28th May 1917.

He would have taken part in the Battle of Aubers Ridge in May 1915 where many casualties were suffered by the battalion.

Most of the soldiers would have written home to family and friends and Edward was no exception. He also wrote poetry and one of his poems was published in the Ormskirk Advertiser on 26th August 1915 under the headline:


"The following verses have been written by Pte. Edward Georgeson, of the 9th King's (Liverpool) Regiment and who resides in Skelmersdale. He was one of the first Skelmersdale men to enlist for foreign service, and has been at the Front with the local Territorials for some time:-

"Somewhere in France" - that only may they write,
Our soldier lads engaged in yonder fight.
Just where they are, 'tis not for them to tell
But what they do the nation knows full well!

"Somewhere in France" - these gallant lads of ours,
Opposed to Huns in league with hellish powers;
Though hard their lot, their high repute maintain,
And fight as men! Nor shall they fight in vain.

"Somewhere in France" - trained soldiers of the line,
With comrades fresh from office, farm or mine;
The veteran and latest recruit
Knows but one aim, nor stay in its pursuit.

"Somewhere in France" - our Sons of Empires stand,
Firm set for Truth, for God, for Fatherland!
Righteous their cause, by strength divine made strong,
They shall prevail, and Right shall conquer wrong.

"Somewhere in France" - we do not know just where,
But for them all we lift our hearts in prayer
"Our Father God, be pleased to our lads to bless
And of Thy grace accord them good success.

Pte. Edward Georgeson
"Somewhere in France"

In September 1915, the 1/9th King's played a prominent part in the Battle of Loos. This was the biggest battle that the British Army had ever launched up to that time, and the losses were horrendous. The 9th King's suffered over 230 casualties out of less than 1,000 men who took part. Edward Georgeson was one of the lucky ones. They were back in action just a few days later when the Germans launched a counter-attack which resulted in another 100 casualties for the 1/9th King's.

After the Battle of Loos, and no doubt inspired by it and the loss of many friends, Edward once again put pen to paper and another of his poems was published in the Ormskirk Advertiser on 4th November:


Pte Edward Georgeson, of the 1/9th King's (Liverpool) Regiment who resides at Skelmersdale has written the following appeal for recruits:-

Come my lads and do your share
For England's cause, and our loved ones there
Come up to the trenches, though the guns you'll hear make such a noise,
If you want this war to end
Enlist at once, and us attend.
Think of your comrades, o'er the foam,
Who've left their loved ones, far from home.
Our own dear "pals" who've gone to rest
Leave all of us to do our best…

** A section of the newspaper has been cut away including the rest of this poem - the only other place that a complete copy might be available is in the Colindale Library, London. **

Edward's battalion was brought back up to strength during the early part of 1916 in the general build-up to the Battle of the Somme which was to be launched on 1st July 1916. The 1/9th King's joined the battle in early August and fought in the attack on the village of Guillemont on 12th August 1916. Again, Edward would have been there and many of his friends and colleagues were killed or maimed on that day and the following days as the attack failed completely.

Reinforcements were drafted in hurriedly as the battle continued and they were launched into a further attack on 25th September 1916 near to the village of Flers, once more suffering terrible casualties.

In October 1916 they left the Somme area and went to Ypres in Belgium where they served throughout the early part of 1917.

In February, 1917 all serving Territorial Force soldiers were renumbered and Edward was allocated the new service number 330587.

The following is an extract from the Battalion War Diary for the period 6th to 13th May, 1917:

"During this tour in the line the weather was excellent. The enemy artillery was not very active on our trenches but paid a great deal of attention to the town of YPRES, MENIN GATE and MENIN ROAD. At 11 a.m. on 7th a Practice Barrage was carried out on the enemy's trenches so as to enable the Officers, N.C.O.s and men of the Battalion to form an idea as to what a barrage was like. At 8.45 P.M. and 11 P.M. at night our Artillery bombarded enemy's back area such as dumps, approaches to trenches etc., with very good effect as the enemy ceased to shell the approaches to YPRES as he had done each night previously. Between 10.30 and 11.30 a.m. on the 8th enemy shelled Battalion Headquarters, 4.2, 5.9 and 8" principally being fired (only about 10 shells altogether). At 9.30 p.m. at night we blew a mine at RAILWAY WOOD but there was no artillery activity whatever. The following night a Camouflet was blown by us. The two Companies in YPRES were principally used for working parties and owing to the shelling very little training was carried out. A little training was carried out by the two Companies in the line such as Map Reading, Scouting, lectures on Bombs, and Lewis Guns.
Casualties during this period were very light.
7th May, 1 other rank died of wounds, one other rank wounded.
9th May, 1 officer, 2/Lt R.C. WHITE, wounded (at duty) four other ranks wounded.
11th May, 5 other ranks wounded.
12th inst., 1 O.R. killed
13th inst., 2 O.R. wounded."

Edward Georgeson was one of the two Other Ranks (O.R.) wounded on the 13th. A shell had exploded near him and he was evacuated through the Regimental Aid Post, via a Casualty Clearing Station, to a base hospital on the coast. From there he was taken back to England on board a hospital ship. His war was effectively over as he would not be returning to the Front.

A medical board, examining him in November 1917 just before his discharge described his injury as "Torticollis Spasmodic" and he was granted a disability pension. These pensions were calculated on the basis of percentage disability and were regularly reviewed.

Edward was eventually discharged from the Army, due to sickness, not wounds, on 15th December, 1917. When discharged he was 21 years old and was described as 5ft 8inches tall, brown hair and blue eyes and having a fresh complexion. He said that upon his discharge his home address would be 115 High Street, Skelmersdale.

He was entitled to three medals, the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. He also received a Silver War Badge.