George Hales

George Albert Hales

Personal Details

George Albert Hales was born in Whitchurch in 1893. He was the second son of Robert Lee and Elizabeth Ann Hales of 28, Belton Road, Whitchurch.

Before enlisting George worked for 9 years as a booking clerk for the London North Western Railway company.

Military Details

Regiment : 5th Battalion Special Brigade, Royal Engineers (Formally of King’s Shropshire Light Infantry No 22024)
Rank : Pioneer
Service Number : 129921

Died of Illness; France 11th August 1916 Age 23

Medals and Awards
George was awarded the Campaign Medals (British War Medal and Allied Victory Medal)

Campaign Medals

Great War History Hub Whitchurch Shropshire Medals Front Image

The British War Medal (also known as 'Squeak') was a silver or bronze medal awarded to officers and men of the British and Imperial Forces who either entered a theatre of war or entered service overseas between 5th August 1914 and 11th November 1918 inclusive. This was later extended to services in Russia, Siberia and some other areas in 1919 and 1920. Approximately 6.5 million British War Medals were issued. Approximately 6.4 million of these were the silver versions of this medal. Around 110,000 of a bronze version were issued mainly to Chinese, Maltese and Indian Labour Corps. The front (obv or obverse) of the medal depicts the head of George V. The recipient's service number, rank, name and unit was impressed on the rim.

The Allied Victory Medal (also known as 'Wilfred') was issued by each of the allies. It was decided that each of the allies should each issue their own bronze victory medal with a similar design, similar equivalent wording and identical ribbon. The British medal was designed by W. McMillan. The front depicts a winged classical figure representing victory. Approximately 5.7 million victory medals were issued. Interestingly, eligibility for this medal was more restrictive and not everyone who received the British War Medal ('Squeak') also received the Victory Medal ('Wilfred'). However, in general, all recipients of 'Wilfred' also received 'Squeak' and all recipients of The 1914 Star or The 1914/1915 Star (also known as 'Pip') also received both 'Squeak' and 'Wilfred'. The recipient's service number, rank, name and unit was impressed on the rim.

Further Information

Whitchurch Herald 19th August 1916

Letter in the Whitchurch Herald 19th August 1916 received by Mr and Mrs Hales regarding the death of their son, George Albert Hales

"George Hales had been in the trenches for three months when he was admitted to No 18 General Hospital, Etaples, France, at the end of July suffering from shell shock, he was making good progress towards recovery when he suddenly collapsed and died of heart failure on the 11th August."

Whitchurch Herald 19th August 1916

If you can provide any further information on George Albert Hales please get in touch by leaving a comment below, using our Contact Form or by calling in to Whitchurch Heritage Centre.

Information provided by Terry Evanson Whitchurch, Shropshire and Whitchurch Museum and Archives

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