George Robert Denton was born on 13th July, 1892 at Dee Bank Cottages, Halkyn, and the youngest of two children to James Arthur Denton and Mary Sarah (Davies).
The Denton family lived for some years in Halkyn, then moved to 2, Bennett’s Row, Oakenholt.
George worked for seven years in the offices of the United Alkali Company, Flint, as a commercial clerk, then in 1912 went to reside at Oldham and became an employee of the well-known Platt’s Works who manufactured textile machinery.
He married Edith Wrigley in 1913, at St John’s Parish Church, Oldham and came to live with his parents in Flint at Moorings, Chester Road. They had a son named James Arthur who was born in Flint in 1914, married Gertrude Stott in Oldham, in 1937, and died in Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire in 2003.
Before the war George had served for four years with the Territorial Army. He enlisted in Flint on 28th December, 1914 and landed in France in December 1915.
Sergeant Denton died in France on 8th March, 1916 as a result of a gunshot wound in the head from a German sniper’s rifle. He was buried in the Bethune Town Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France, (Plot V, Row A, Grave 87).
After her husband’s death, Edith returned to Oldham with son James to live with her parents at 47, Worcester Street (which was later named Halkyn House).
Sergeant Denton is remembered on three war memorials: Flint Town, St David’s Parish Church, Oakenholt and Oddfellows Hall, Flint. He is also commemorated on the North Wales Heroes’ Memorial Arch, Bangor. He was awarded the 1914–15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal.
George was regarded as an intelligent young man and, whilst living in Oldham, attended the services at the Hollinwood Congregational Church, Manchester Road with his wife and friends.
His abilities extended in the direction of music, and it is stated that when he lived at home in Oakenholt he had officiated occasionally as organist in the St David’s Church Sunday School, and also at the Church.
For his intelligence in his military duties Sergeant Denton secured well-deserved promotions, and it was said that it was only shortly before he met with his fatal wound he had been promoted to the rank of Sergeant. Amiable of disposition, and ever ready to do his duty, he was much respected by his comrades, who felt his loss most keenly.
It is believed that he met with his fatal wound when on duty at Levantie, on the Le Bassee Road. Mrs Denton, his widow, received the official notification of his death, which stated that he died at a clearing station in France from the effects of a “gunshot wound in the head received in action.” The bullet penetrated the lower portion of the back of the head and passed through the neck. The following Sunday morning, at the St David’s Church, a special memorial service was held, and was attended by a sympathetic congregation. The Reverend Humphrey Lloyd delivered a very appropriate discourse, in which he paid special tribute to the memory of the deceased soldier who, he stated, had been an organist in their Sunday School. He had been of much assistance to the work connected with that church when he resided in the district; they missed him very much, and he was sure that the residents of the whole of the neighbourhood were in deep sympathy with the family. The service was of an impressive character, and the following hymns were sung: Thy Ways, Not Mine, O Lord, Rock of Ages, When Our Heads are Bowed with Woe. At the evening service the hymns were: Onward Christian Soldiers, Eternal Father, Lead, Kindly Light, and Nearer my God to Thee. Sergeant Denton was a member of the Loyal Flint Castle Lodge of Independent Order of Oddfellows (Manchester Unity).
By early 1918 Oldham born Edith was living at 52, Oxford Street, Werneth, Oldham, where she died in 1958, aged 67.
George’s father, James Arthur, was born in Meliden and died 29th December, 1938, aged 79, at his home, Ivy Cottage, 335, Chester Road, Flint, and buried in the Northop Road Cemetery.
Mr Denton came to Flint in the 1880s as an employee of the old United Alkali Company, with whom he had rose to the position of traffic foreman, which post he held for over 40 years. When the company left Flint he retired and became one of the firm’s pensioners. He was a staunch churchman and member of the St David’s Church, Oakenholt, where for many years he was a Sunday School teacher and also Sunday School Superintendent. In politics he was a Conservative and was formerly a member of the Flint Conservative Club, where at one time he served on the committee. He was a member of the Flint Castle Lodge of Oddfellows.
George’s mother, Mary Sarah was born in Northop and died 21st May, 1949, aged 83, and buried with her husband. She was a member of the St David’s Church, Oakenholt, and was a former member of the British Legion.