George Edward Read

Royal Sussex Regiment
Date of death 
5 November 1918
Age of death 
125 Parkside
Chingford Lane
Woodford Green
Address source 
1911 Census
Cemetery / Memorial 

Born in 1885 at Woodford, son of James (Coach Builder) and Elizabeth Read. 1891: With his family at 20 Woodford Wells which appears to be the coach building premises. 1901: With his widowed mother and family at the High Road shop next to Cheveley Cottages and Barclay Oval. He married Ann Charlotte Baines in 1907. 1911: A Plumber living with his wife at 125 Parkside, Woodford Green (Walthamstow).

The war was drawing to a close. The last major engagement was the crossing of the Sambre-Oist Canal at Ors in France, which the Germans were using as a defensive feature, reinforced with machine guns and rifle companies.

A small stream to the west of the canal and the canal itself would be crossed with the help of Royal Engineer bridge and raft parties. German wire would be breached by an Australian Tunneling Company using Bangalore Torpedoes and Push Pipe Mines. This would allow 2 Royal Sussex to move from their positions outside Rejet-de- Beaulieu and lead the attack across the canal by troops of 1 Division. They would then take the lock buildings and the ground beyond towards Bois de l’Abbaye.

The assault began at 05.45 on 4th November 1918.  It proved necessary to use some canal bridges to span the stream, and a large number of casualties among the Engineers required Sussex troops to help establish the bridgeheads. Having done so, men began crossing the canal, some by some by running over the lock gates. The attack was a success, and during the morning 1 Division held the ground up to and including the main road beyond Nois de l’Abbaye.

At some stage during the fighting George Read was wounded and he died on 5th November 1918, probably in a Casualty Clearing Station at Bohain.

Research by Adrian Lee, Local Historian


Regimental History