George Barton

Essex Regiment
Date of death 
19 September 1918
Age of death 
5 Maybank Terrace
Maybank Road
South Woodford
E18 1EL
Address source 
1911 Census
Cemetery / Memorial 
Israel and Palestine (including Gaza)

Born in 1882 at Woodford, son of Thomas (a Council Labourer) and Elizabeth Barton. 1891: With his family at 23 Winifred Terrace, Lower Road, Woodford Green. In 1901 he married Annie Patience. In the Census of that year he is shown as a Brickmakers Carman, living with his wife at 5 Maybank Terrace, Maybank Road, South Woodford.

He enlisted at Leyton and was posted to 7 Essex Regiment, and with them he joined the Middle East Force.

The Battle of Megiddo, 19/25 September 1918, was the largest action by the British Forces in Palestine, and included the final large scale (and successful) deployment of cavalry. It began with an artillery bombardment lasting 15 minutes from 04.30, followed by a ground attack which quickly overwhelmed the Turkish front lines and moved on to the ground beyond. This allowed Cavalrymen to be used in their mounted role, pursuing the retreating Turkish Forces and clearing ground to be occupied by the advancing infantry.  Many miles of territory were taken, during the Battle, which began the end of substantial Turkish resistance in Palestine.

7 Essex were part of 161 Brigade, and they formed part of the second line. Under the cover of a barrage from machine guns the Brigade moved forward and began achieved their objectives - taking and holding the Es Zakur Line and forming a defensive flank for the main force. 7 Essex and the rest of the Brigade remained in the area for one week, tasked with “battlefield clearance” work. They then moved forward again to continue the pursuit of retreating Turkish Forces.

Although the offensive was a great success, it did not come without cost. George Barton was among those Killed in Action during the first day of the battle.

Research by Adrian Lee, Local Historian