Born in 1888 at Plymouth, son of Frederick George (Butcher) and Eliza Charlotte Penny. 1891: With his family at 4 Mutley Plain in the Mutley District of Plymouth. His father died on 16th January 1898. In 1899 Eliza married George Menhinick, a clothing manufacturer who lived at Woodford Bridge. The 1901 Census shows Eliza and George living together at Woodford House, Woodford Bridge. George however was a boarding pupil at the school in Loughton High Road run by William and Mary Vincent. In 1911 his mother died. 1911: George Menhinick was living at “St Breock” Vicarage Road, Woodford Bridge, with a number of his own and step children. George Penny was present and at the age of 22 was working as a Warehouseman. His Probate gives his last address as “The Limes” Cleveland Road, South Woodford.
He enlisted in the Artists Rifles and was Commissioned into 8 Prince of Wales West Yorkshire Regiment (The Leeds Rifles Territorial Battalion). He arrived in France on 9th January 1916. On 3rd September 1916 at 05.10, part of 146 Brigade attacked the Schwaben Redoubt from the direction of the Thiepval to Hamel Road. Soon they were taking enfilade fire from a position known as “The Popes Nose”, (approximately where the Ulster Tower now stands) and they were forced back having sustained a number of casualties. Some men of the Leeds Rifles managed to reach the enemy trenches but being few in number were driven out again. By 07.30 it was clear men were beginning to drift back to British Lines. By 10.00 the entire Division was back where it started out from earlier in the day.
The Leeds Rifles suffered 303 casualties that day, including George Penny who was Killed in Action.
X/R: Able Seaman James Gordon Menhinick R.N. (Step Brother).
Research by Adrian Lee, Local Historian