PRIVATE GEORGE MOUNTFORD

No.326609 2nd / 9th Durham Light Infantry.

George Edgar Mountford, was born in 1900 at what the 1911 census record describes as 9, Broad Street, Montgomery (which is currently the house next door to the Little Gallery, in the centre of Broad Street), but his birth record below shows that the family was actually living at Compton House, which is now the Post Office. His father, also George, was a draper, and his mother, Alice, was a dressmaker, and he had one older sister, Dorothy Alice. In the early part of the 20th Century, most people living in rural areas still had clothes made from fabric and trimmings they had selected at a local drapers; and it would appear that George Mountford senior was very successful, as he appears in the 1911 census, living at Belle Vue, Churchstoke, and is described, at the age of 40, as a retired draper. George’s birthday was on the 11th April 1900, and assuming he did not lie about his age, there were barely two months between him enlisting at the age of 18, on or after the 11th April 1918, and his subsequent death on the 10th June 1918. There are no records available about George’s brief army career, not even a record of his enlisting so we can only guess at why he enlisted with the Durham Light Infantry.

It is not known where George fought, but given where he is buried, it is very possible that he was injured and removed to one of the three large hospitals at the Western main port of Le Havre. Le Havre was the port through which British service personnel disembarked, and was the Number 1 base, containing at the end of May 1917, 3 general hospitals, 2 stationary hospitals and 4 convalescent depots. The picture below shows one of the hospitals, which was commandeered from the main casino in this busy port, and the original chandelier can be seen at the top of the picture.

George is buried in the main cemetery in the town, which is located in the centre of the town itself, and contains the graves of 1,690 servicemen.