George Harry Rainer

Lance Corporal
Wiltshire Regiment
Date of death 
12 March 1915
Age of death 
5 Carlyle Villas
West Grove
Woodford Green
Address source 
1911 Census
Cemetery / Memorial 

Born in 1896 at Woodford, son of Richard (Brickmaker) and Alice Matilda Rainer. 1901: With his family at 5 Carlyle Villas, West Grove. His mother died in 1906. 1911: An Office Boy, living with his father and stepmother Nellie Laura Rainer at 5 Carlyle Villas. The family home was later at 34 Westdown Road, Leyton.

From 10th November he was employed as a Clerk at the Bishopsgate Accounts Section of the Great Eastern Railway, he enlisted at Finsbury London on 7th September 1914, and arrived in France to join his Regiment on 26th January 1915. He qualified for the 1914-1915 Star.

The Battle of Neuve Chapelle was fought from 10/13 March 1915. Along with 3 Worcestershire Regiment, the Battalion was scheduled to attack Spanbroek Mill at Wijtshaete. At 02.45 they marched from Locre to “F” trenches arriving about 5,30am. After a delayed bombardment, which did not destroy the German positions as anticipated, troops of A & B Companies began their attack at about 16.10. Almost at once the Germans opened heavy rifle and machine gun fire which caused many casualties. The Wiltshires did not manage to reach the reach German lines, and the Battalion withdrew at about 19.00. Elsewhere, the British offensive met with greater, though strategically limited, success.  

George Rainer was among those Killed in Action during this first large scale coordinated attack of the war, which the British mounted from their trench system.

The words “Lead kindly light” are inscribed on his headstone.

Research by Adrian Lee, Local Historian


Regimental War Diary