Regiment : 2nd/8th Battalion Worcestershire Regiment
Service number : 4315
Conflict : WW1
Date of death : Killed in action on 2nd December 1916
Buried : Commemorated on Thiepval Memorial, France, Pier and Face 5A and 6C.
Memorial : Worcester St Stephen's Church
Also appears on : Worcester Shrub Hill Station GWR Sheet Dept WW1 Roll of Honour as G. Firkin.
Enlisted and resident Worcester.
A photograph of Private G. Firkins of Worcester can be found in Berrow’s Worcester Journal Supplement, Saturday 30th December 1916, available at Worcestershire Archives.
The following information has been researched by Geoff Hill:
13 Millburn Street, Barbourne
George Firkins, aged 18
At the same address: William (father), labourer vinegar works, mother and 2 brothers.
In 1914 George Firkins married Amelia Allport, the sister of Thomas Allport
The 2nd/8th Battalion Worcestershire Regiment was part of 183 Brigade in the 61st Division in July 1916. On the 19th July 1916, together with the 5th Australian Division, the 61st Division fought at the Battle of Fromelles, designed as a feint attack as part of the Somme Offensive. The attack, against well prepared German positions based on a ridge, was a disaster and responsible for the subsequent poor reputation of the Division. The Division suffered very heavy casualties for no significant gain and no enemy reserves were diverted from the Somme. Such was the damage to the Division and its reputation that it was not used again other than for holding trench lines until 1917.
The Battle of the Somme closed down on the 18th November 1916. There would seemingly have been no major engagement with the Germans in the Somme area in December 1916. There is no clear evidence to indicate what may have been the cause of George Firkins’ death and the circumstances whereby his body was not recovered for an identified burial.
George Firkins has no known grave, the photograph available shows his name on Thiepval Memorial.