GEORGE AUSTIN GUY

Rifleman

Summary 

George volunteered to join the Isle of Wight Rifles in 1915 when he was only 18 years old.

Place and date of birth

1897

Family in Southend

Connection to Southend 

Story

George was born on the Isle of Wight in 1897 and his family lived at 37 Elm Grove, Newport, IoW. George volunteered to join the Isle of Wight Rifles in 1915 when he was only 18 years old.

In April and May 1915 George’s unit was stationed in first Suffolk and then in the Watford area and on 30 July 1915 the Isle of Wight Rifles sailed from Liverpool aboard the RMS Aquitania to join the fighting at Gallipoli.

The 163rd Brigade, consisting of the 1/5th Suffolk 4th & 5th Norfolk, & George’s 1/8 Hampshires (I.W.Rifles) were landed on 10 August 1915 in order to attack the Turkish positions on Anafurta Ridge.

Lieutenant General Frederick Stopford was commanding the Suvla Bay operation. The beach that the Isle of Wight Rifles landed on led to a plain overlooked by a range of hills. Lt Gen. Stopford - who set up his command post in a sloop – HMS Jonquil – anchored offshore - took the beaches but waited whilst stores were landed before occupying the empty hills.

By the time he decided to move upon them the Turks had filled them full of artillery and infantry. On 12 August 1915 the attack was ordered across terrain varying from thick scrub to abandoned fields, all cut with dried watercourses. The Allies suffered approximately 18,000 casualties at Suvla Bay and Lt General Stopford was sent home in disgrace.

George Guy died in the attack on Thursday the 12th August 1915, he was 18 years old. George is commemorated on the Helles Memorial which is found outside the village of Sedd el Bahr on the Galipoli Peninsular in Turkey. George is also remembered on the Guy family memorial at the North Road Burial Ground in Westcliff-on-Sea.

Main image courtesy of Dean Trotter

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