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Rifleman

George Peachment VC.

A heroes story

 by his niece, Ann Lloyd

 

R/11941 Rifleman

George Stanley Peachment V.C.

2nd Bn. King's Royal Rifle Corps.

2nd Brigade, 1st Division

Killed in action 25/09/1915, aged 18.

Son of Mrs. Mary Peachment, of The Nook,

Hilda Avenue, Tottington, Bury, Lancs.

 Loos Memorial. Panel 101 and 102.

 

Born Parkhills, Fishpool, Bury, Lancashire on the 5th May 1897. His parents were George Henry and Mary. Educated at Parkhills United Methodist Church School. St, Chadís and Bury Technical School. He was an apprentice fitter engineer at Ashworth & Parker of Elton, Bury and later another Bury firm J. H. Riley. George enlisted on the 18th April, 1915 in the 5th Kings Royal Rifle Corps, falsely giving his age at 19 years and one month, although he was actually only 17 years and 11 months. He then went absent from 07.30pm on the 2nd July 1915 until 08.10am on the 5th July 1915 and for this he was fined seven days pay. Eventually George transferred to the 2nd Battalion on posting to France on the 27th July 1915. He was later confined to barracks for three days on the 19th September 1915, for having a dirty sword (bayonet) whilst on guard mount parade.

 

George Peachment won  his VC near Hulluch, France on the 25th September 1915, and his citation appeared in The London Gazette of the 18th November 1915. He was killed in action at Hulluch, France on the 25th September 1915 during the action for which he won his medal and is commemorated on the Loos Memorial. George was unmarried when the V.C. was presented to his mother, by the king at Buckingham Palace on the 29th November 1916.

 

The officer saved by George Peachment in the action which would win him his award, was Captain Guy Rattray Dubs. He was born in 1890 and commissioned in the K.R.R.C. on the 15th July 1910. He became a temporary Captain on the 10th September 1914 and Captain on the 9th November 1915. He later was awarded the Military Cross and French Croix de Guerre. He was Brigade Major of the 140th Infantry Brigade from July 1917 to May 1918. He was promoted Brevet Major on the 3rd June 1918 and in 1926 attended Staff College. He was promoted to Major on the 21st October 1928 and retired from the army about 1930.

 

The 2nd K.R.R.C suffered particularly badly in an attack and, having failed to break into the enemy positions, was ordered to reorganise in the front line. As Rifleman Peachment retired, he saw his company commander, Captain G. R. Dubs, lying wounded. The enemy fire was intense but in spite of this Peachment crawled to the officerís assistance. Ignoring the danger he knelt over Dubs to attend to his wounds. Peachment was wounded by a bomb splinter but continued his work even though he could have sheltered in nearby shell-holes. A minute later a rifle bullet fatally wounded him. He was one of the youngest soldiers in the Battalion.

 

The Loos Memorial which stands within Dud Corner Cemetery, George Peachment is commemorated on the memorial

The citation for Rifleman Peachment:

An extract from "The London Gazette", dated the 18th Nov., 1915, records the following:-"For most conspicuous bravery near Hulluch on the 25th Sept., 1915. During very heavy fighting, when our front line was compelled to retire in order to re-organise, Pte. Peachment, seeing his Company Commander, Captain Dubs, lying wounded, crawled to assist him. The enemy's fire was intense, but, though there was a shell hole quite close, in which a few men had taken cover, Pte. Peachment never thought of saving himself. He knelt in the open by his Officer and tried to help him, but while doing this he was first wounded by a bomb and a minute later mortally wounded by a rifle bullet. He was one of the youngest men in his battalion and gave this splendid example of courage and self-sacrifice."

George Stanley Peachment's body was never identified and he is commemorated on the Loos Memorial at Dud Corner Cemetery, close to where he was killed.

 

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