Rank: Private
Service No: 3565
Date of Death: 19/09/1916
Age: 16
Regiment/Service: London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers) 4th Bn.
Grave Reference XXIII. A. 5.

Additional Information:

Born in 1900 at Woodford, second son of Albert (Draper) and Frances Pain. 1901: With his family at Maybank Road South Woodford. 1911: With his family at “Maybank” Fairview Road Chigwell. His war record suggests he later moved back to South Woodford. It appears that his parents moved back to South Woodford, the Electoral Roll for 1918 showing them at 1 Maybank Road. An Old Bancroftian.

Enlisted in 01-15 initially for Home Defence duties, but in 05-15 he was picked for an overseas draft. As he was only 15, his father spoke to the Commanding Officer who replied that he would not be sent on active service overseas until he was 19 – much to Geoffrey’s annoyance. In 10-15 his parents received a letter from Southampton in which he told them that he was on his way to France.

Initially his letters were cheerful. In 05-16 he was in hospital at Rouen with an infected arm, but refused the opportunity to come home, rejoining his Regiment and taking part in the advance and battles from July to September. Being a good shot he was a member of the snipers platoon.

By this time his letters had changed, always speaking of looking forward to leave and hoping to see home before the Summer was over. On 19-09-16 at the age of 16.1/2 he was killed by shellfire on the Somme while carrying water and ammunition to the firing line. The Commanding Officer noted that his untiring efforts in transporting such supplies would not be forgotten.

Memorial: Roll of Honour Holy Trinity Church. Bancroft’s School.
Separate Folder: NO.
Principal Sources: Ancestry. The Bancroftian. Woodford Times.
Qualification: Borough Resident. Name read at St Mary’s Church Sunday Service, December 1917.