George Turner Private 16887 - 2nd Bn. Lincolnshire Regiment Killed in action on Sunday 4th March 191 7, age 36 No known grave but is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France George Turner was born at Outwoods in 1880 to 34-year-old John Turner (also born at Outwoods), and his wife Sarah, aged 29, from Haughton. The family soon moved and the 1881 census shows the family at Derrington, with father John working as a platelayer. George has an older brother, Thomas, born at Wilbrighton, and older siblings John and Sarah born in the last few years at Outwoods. The family is difficult to trace thereafter, Turner being a very common surname in Staffordshire! However from his grave records, it seems George may have enlisted in the North Staffordshire Regiment around 1901 or before. In 1906 he and Jessie Green (from Stafford) married in Cannock. The 1911 census has George working as a coal miner & loader living at Moss Street, Chadsmoor, Cannock, living with Jessie and three small daughters, Daisy, Frances and Agnes. He enlisted at Wednesford in the North Staffs Regiment as Private 8594, according to his death record, and was transferred to the 2 nd  Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment, 16887, being sent to France in May 1915, and subsequently awarded the 1914-5 Star, Victory and British medals. George was killed in action on 4 th  March 1917. He has no known grave, but is remembered on Pier and Face 1C of the Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France. His record states: “Son of the late John Turner, of Malt Mill Lane, Stafford; husband of Jessie Turner, of 4, Moss St., Chadsmoor, Cannock, Staffs. 16 years service with North Staffordshire Regt.”
Thiepval Memorial Historical Information On 1 July 1916, supported by a French attack to the south, thirteen divisions of Commonwealth forces launched an offensive on a line from north of Gommecourt to Maricourt. Despite a preliminary bombardment lasting seven days, the German defences were barely touched and the attack met unexpectedly fierce resistance. Losses were catastrophic and with only minimal advances on the southern flank, the initial attack was a failure. In the following weeks, huge resources of manpower and equipment were deployed in an attempt to exploit the modest successes of the first day. However, the German Army resisted tenaciously and repeated attacks and counter attacks meant a major battle for every village, copse and farmhouse gained. At the end of September, Thiepval was finally captured. The village had been an original objective of 1 July. Attacks north and east continued throughout October and into November in increasingly difficult weather conditions. The Battle of the Somme finally ended on 18 November with the onset of winter. In the spring of 1917, the German forces fell back to their newly prepared defences, the Hindenburg Line, and there were no further significant engagements in the Somme sector until the Germans mounted their major offensive in March 1918. The Thiepval Memorial, the Memorial to the Missing of the Somme, bears the names of more than 72,000 officers and men of the United Kingdom and South African forces who died in the Somme sector before 20 March 1918 and have no known grave. Over 90% of those commemorated died between July and November 1916. The memorial also serves as an Anglo-French Battle Memorial in recognition of the joint nature of the 1916 offensive and a small cemetery containing equal numbers of Commonwealth and French graves lies at the foot of the memorial.