Dedicated to the memory of all the men and women of the Bridgnorth area who died during the two World Wars.
George Thomas Lloyd was the son of James, a tailor, and Georgina. He was born in Ludlow but was living in Bridgnorth by 1901; first at Bylet Cottages and, later, at Severn Terrace.
After leaving school, George worked as an errand boy. He served with the Volunteers before the war and was mobilized at Shrewsbury on the 4th August, 1914. He joined the 1/4th King’s Shropshire Light Infantry. He is known to have been with the 1/4th in Hong Kong in 1917.
The 1/4th was on the Western Front from mid 1917 seeing action at Passchendaele and during the German Spring Offensive of 1918. Corp Lloyd was missing in action on 26th March, possibly during the Battle of Bapaume. He is commemorated on the Arras Memorial.
The action of 26th March is recorded in the Regimental History:
By 11 a.m., March 25th, following persistent enemy attacks the right flank became practically enveloped, casualties were heavy and another withdrawal became essential if annihilation was to be avoided. This was effected by 3 p.m. through the 62nd Division, and a new line was occupied west of Miraumont, the battalion being the last unit of the British Army in Bapaume for many months.
Orders were received late at night from the G.O.C. 56th Brigade to withdraw further and rendezvous at Hebuterne. This was effected and, in the early hours of the morning of the 26th, officers and men of the now greatly reduced battalion were looking for billets in the hopes of, at any rate, a short period of rest. At about 6.30 a.m. General Jeffreys, G.O.C. 19th Division, rode through the streets with his Staff. When this party reached the eastern exit of the village it was seen to turn about and gallop back, as it had ridden right into a party of the enemy who were on the point of entering the town. The remains of the Brigade, about 250 strong, fell in, fixed bayonets and doubled in fours down the main streets in the direction of the enemy, who were seen advancing over a crest about 800 yards away. Covered by the fire of the N. Staffords and Cheshire Regiment the battalion, now reduced to under 50 men, charged with the bayonet headed by Colonel Bowen, whereupon the enemy took to flight without awaiting an actual collision.
At 10 p.m. on the same day the Division was relieved by an Australian Division, and the battalion withdrew to Sailly-aux-Bois. [Wood, p.112]
Corp Lloyd, 200599, was awarded the Victory and British Medals and the Territorial Forces War Medal. His presence in Hong Kong was reported in the Bridgnorth Journal on 25th August, 1917, and the Journal reported his death on 21st September, 1918.
PRESENTATION TO A BRIDGNORTH COPRPORAL [Bridgnorth Journal, 25th August, 1917] Whilst a contingent of the 4th K.S.L.I. was at Hongkong, Corporal G. H. T. Lloyd, F (Bridgnorth) Co., 4th K.S.L.I. (whose home is at 3 Severn Terrace, Bridgnorth), for a period of five months acted as coach to the Signalling Section of the Hongkong Volunteer Reserves, and before the K.S.L.I. left for France the section of the H.K.V.R. make [sic] a presentation of a handsome cigarette case (containing a cheque) to their instructor. The presentation was made in the smoking room at the Volunteer Headquarters by Sergeant Mitchelmore, who said he had been called upon to make a pleasing presentation to Corporal Lloyd, who had been their instructor for the past five months. He could hardly mention – they were so numerous – the many services he had rendered them. He had mapped out a splendid programme for them which had proved not only extremely instructive but of great interest. He (the speaker) was sorry that Corporal Lloyd would not be able to stay in Hongkong to see the result of his work. But if it was any comfort to him, they could inform him that they were out for first-class results. The relations between the members of the section and their instructor had been most pleasant. The least they could do was to hand over to Corporal Lloyd this small token of their appreciation and regard. The cigarette case, he hoped, would prove useful and would serve as a permanent memento of the happy associations that had existed between him and the Signalling Section of the H.K.V.R. They wished him all success for the future. They knew that he was anxious to get away to where he was going; they knew he was eager to take a hand in the great job that was going on in the West. They also knew that he was eager to uphold British traditions and British ideals of integrity and justice. Sergeant Mitchelmore concluded by saying they were completely assured that the recipient would do as well elsewhere as he had done here, and the best wishes of the Signalling Section went with him. – In a brief reply Corporal Lloyd said they had taken him completely by surprise. He did not deserve anything from them. He had been happy in the work. He thanked them for their very kind sentiments. When they got through their examination, he trusted that they would be well satisfied. He was sure that they would all make good signallers. – Lance-corporal Lloyd’s health was then drunk, three hearty good cheers and a rousing “tiger” also being given.
KILLED IN ACTION [Bridgnorth Journal, Saturday 21st September, 1918] Mrs. Lloyd, of 3 Severn Terrace, has received news that her son 200599 Corpl. George Thomas Lloyd, Signal section, 1/4th K.S.L.I., was killed in action in France on March 26th, 1918. Lieut. F. Kinchen-Smith, who is now a prisoner of war in Germany writes:- “ I have been waiting for a long time to send you my sincere sympathy about your dear son. He could not have died more nobly being almost the last to retreat in that action of March 26th. He died at my side a few moments before I was captured. All through those five days of fighting he did splendidly, looking after my signallers, and was the bravest and best of them when we had to drop telephones and take to rifles. One day I would like to tell you heaps that would make many a mother proud how useful he was to the Regiment both in France and all the time with me in Hong Kong training the signallers. I could never have wished for a better Corporal.
This memorial has mostly been compiled from official sources. It would be good to be able to expand it with more personal material - memories, stories, photos, etc. If you have any suitable material or any corrections please contact Greg. For news of updates follow @BridgnorthHeros on Twitter.