Humpage, George Gordon

George Gordon Humpage was born in the December quarter of 1923, (W.Bromwich Vol.  6b, Page 1467), the son of Arthur J. & Nellie Humpage (nee Powell), who had married in the Walsall Registration District in the September quarter of 1919, (Walsall  Vol.  6b Page 1713).

George’s father Arthur John, may, I believe, had served in WW1 in the Royal Army Medical Corps, Regimental No. 59487and he had been awarded the Victory & British War Medals and the 15 Star, he had first served in France from the 19th of September 1915.

We see the newly married couple in 1921 living at 93, Franchise Street, Wednesbury, with Nellie Humpage’s family.  Head of the household was Matilda Powell, aged 46 years and 6 months, she had been born in Bradley, Staffordshire and was married and doing ‘Home Duties.’   Her husband was missing from the census.  Her son Albert Victor Powell was 22 years and 11 months old, single and born in Rushall, Staffordshire, he was a Moulder for F.H. Lloyds, James Bridge Steelworks, Wednesbury, as was his brother, George Burrough Powell, aged 21 years and single.   William Edward Powell, aged 19 years and single, born in Rushall, he was a Fitter for the Sunbeam Motor Co., Wolverhampton, but was ‘Out of Work.’   Mary Amelia Powell was 15 years and 9 months old, single and born Rushall, she was a Milliner’s Apprentice for Forester Pleck, Walsall.   Arthur John Humpage, Matilda’s Son-in-Law was 27 years and 7 months old, he had been born in Darlaston, Staffordshire and was a Moulder for the same company as Nellie’s brothers. Albert Victor* and George Burrough Powell.   Nellie Humpage was Matilda’s daughter and was 26 years and 6 months old, she had been born in Rushall and was doing ‘Home Duties.’

*Albert Victor Powell was to be the father of Frank Alwyn Powell, who also lost his life in the war, please click on the link to read his story.

I know nothing of George Gordon’s early life and teen years until he is seen again on the Admittance Register at Hawarden Grammar School: –

Hawarden Grammar School Admissions Register E/GS/1/10

1906/2888 HUMPAGE, George Gordon, Date of Birth – 24th September 1923, 69, Mancott Lane, Mancot and Glendene, Gladstone Way, Upperdale, Hawarden, Father – Foreman Ironworker, Date of entry – 13th September 1936, Deeside Central & Hawarden N.P., Date of leaving – 27th July 1939.

The Admittance Register tells us that he left school in the July of 1939, yet he is seen later that year, on the 29th of September 1939, when the 1939 National Register was taken, and George Gordon is said to be “At School,” this could of course be a clerical error, however, this document gives us his birthdate of the 24th of September 1923.   They were living at Glendene, Hawarden R.D., Flintshire, Wales.

This also gives us the birthdates of his parents, Arthur J. Humpage was born on the 26th of October 1893, and he was a Foreman Steel Moulder, (probably at John Summer’s & Son’s Steelworks), his wife, Nellie’s birthdate was the 12th of December 1894, and she is described, as most married women with no job on this register, as doing “Unpaid Domestic Duties.”  There are 2 redacted or closed records in this household as well, and could be, perhaps sisters of George Gordon –Hazel & Sheila?  Also in the household was Matilda Powell, born 12th of January 1871, an Invalid and married, who I believe her to be Nellie’s mother.

I also believe that Matilda’s husband, and Nellie’s father, Peter Powell, was living – on the National Register on the 29th of September 1939 – at 30, Pendeford Back Lane, Bilbrook, Staffordshire, where his birthdate was given as the 2nd of August 1865 and then adjusted to the 31st of August of that year.    His occupation is given as “Inspector of Light Pressings, Retired.”   Also written there is “Married but Separated.”

So I also believe that George Gordon was to be in a Training Battalion in the Welsh Guards by 1943,*

This website tells us that there was a Welsh Guards Training Battalion based a Sandown Park racetrack near to Esher, perhaps that is where George Gordon was stationed.   I cannot find any service records for him, except the Casualty List (Page 16), which tells us that he “Died as Result of Accident.”

*This also tells a little of the tragedy at Imber Court where unfortunately on the 30th of June 1944 a bomb fell onto Imber Court and killed 20 members of the Welsh Guards Training Battalion who were enjoying the facilities at Imber and competing in their regiment’s annual sports competition.   John Frederick Fernyhough on the Hawarden WW2 War Memorial was one of those who died.  Please click on the link to read his story.

On Saturday the 28th of August 1943, when returning to the camp, George Gordon was walking under the Long Arch, Portsmouth Road, Thames Ditton, with another soldier when a Salvation Army Tea Canteen van which was driven by a Canadian Soldier, fatally injured him, the other soldier was injured but survived.  The newspaper cuttings are below.   There was an Inquest on the following Friday when a verdict of “Accidental death” was recorded.

George Gordon Humpage’s Probate: –

HUMPAGE, George Gordon of Glendene, Gladstone Way, Hawarden, Flintshire died 28 August 1943 at Esher Surrey.    Probate Bangor 31 July to Nellie HUMPAGE (Wife of Arthur John HUMPAGE).

George Gordon Humpage, age 19 years, was brought back to be buried in a family grave in Hawarden Cemetery.    He was very well loved and missed as his family put his name forward to be remembered on the Hawarden WW2 War memorial for perpetuity.

His father, Arthur John Humpage was to pass away in the March quarter of 1980, age 86 years and his mother, Nellie, was to pass away in the July quarter of 1989 age 94 years.

If anyone can add to George Gordon’s story, it will be gratefully received.  He must not be forgotten.

Learn more about the other soldiers on the Hawarden Memorial

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