167 Coy Machine Gun Corps who died 10 October 1916

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George Noble Hallewell was one of nine children born to George Noble Hallewell Snr and Kate Maria (nee Pepper). George, their seventh child, was born in 1888 at Bramhope, West Yorkshire.  The Hallewell and Pepper families were merchants or agents working in the railway, shipping and engineering industries.

The late 1880s was a time of uncertainty for the family and they moved several times. In 1891 George Snr, now a father of eight children, was unemployed. But by 1901 they were prospering with George Snr a mechanical engineer, his three eldest children employed, two daughters at boarding school and George and younger brother Stanley living at home at Elford Place, Leeds. By 1911 the family had relocated to Leicestershire. George Snr and Kate retired first to The Poplars, Loughborough Road, Quorn and later to Oakfield House, Leicester Road, Oadby where he served on the Board of School Managers until 1919. George Jnr was working as a motor mechanic in Kettering. It is possible that he also worked with his brother-in-law, Herbert Lonsdale, a motor engineer and employer in Market Harborough.

northumb-hbOn 13 November 1903, at the age of 15 years and 9 months George joined the 5th (Northumberland Fusiliers) Regiment of Foot at Ripon and was posted to Dublin. This military career did not last long and he was discharged on 12 February 1904 ‘in consequence of his not being likely to become an efficient soldier’.

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On 11 August 1915 George married Edith Mary Baker at St Michael’s Church, Boldmere, Sutton Coldfield. It is likely that George had already joined the colours as Edith remained at her parents’ home in Wilde Green.

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Machine Gun Corps gunners on the Somme 1916.

George’s marriage announcement records him as a Second Lieutenant in 15th Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment. However by the time of his death he was serving in 167 Company of the Machine Gun Corps. The Machine Gun Corps was created in October 1915. It trained machine gunners who had been drawn from a wide variety of battalions. They formed specialist units attached to each infantry brigade and were deployed tactically throughout battlefields. The Corps was disbanded in 1922.

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George was Acting Lieutenant when wounded on the Somme at the Battle of Morval between 25 to 27 September 1916. He was evacuated to Carnoy Military Hospital but died of wounds on 10 October. George is Remembered with Honour at Carnoy Military Cemetery, France.

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Lieutenant George N Hallewell is one of several men with links to Oadby who does not appear on the war memorial. His wife Edith chose to have him commemorated at Sutton Coldfield, close to her home. Edith remarried in 1926 to Ernest Wrighton. George’s medals were sold to a collector in 2010 for £390.