George Housden Dellar.

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George Housden Dellar was born in St. Ives in 1889, the eldest child of George and Ellen Mary Dellar.  In 1891 the Dellar family were living in Crown Walk, St. Ives.

For some years George worked as a Clerk for Messrs. Cranfield and Wheeler in St. Ives and at the outbreak of war he joined St. Ives Volunteer Training Corps (V.T.C.)

In November 1915 George enlisted in the Huntingdonshire Cyclist Battalion, in which he served with the 3/1st Battalion as a Private, no. 1551.   On 10th January 1916 at Somersham Baptist Chapel, George married Grace Harlick of Somersham.  The couple had no children.  In July 1916 George was transferred to the 1st Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment, 5th Division, as a Private, no. 43109 later in the same month he was drafted to France to serve with the Battalion.

On 3rd September 1916, during the battle of the Somme the 5th Division took part in a huge attack launched on Leuze Wood, near Guillemont, France.  For this attack the 1st Bedford's were in reserve but eventually they were committed to the attack.  The 1st Bedford's orders were to attack and capture the South Western edge of Leuze Wood and to gain contact on the right with the French around Savernake Wood.  The 1st Bedford's were to go over the top at 12.55pm.  The War Diary does not state if the attack was successful or not, but the Bedford's suffered a large amount of casualties amongst these was George who had received a serious wound to the chest.

George was taken to the Base Hospital in France where his condition was so critical that his wife and father were sent for and upon arriving in France they found George much better and they had every hope for his recovery.  George was then transferred to England where he was treated in Windsor Hospital but unfortunately his condition quickly deteriorated and he passed away in Windsor Hospital on 4th December 1916. 

On Friday 12th December 1916 business in St. Ives came to a standstill for the funeral of Pte. George Dellar.  The service was held in the Free Church, and was attended by many members of his family and friends also there were many local dignitaries present as well as soldiers from the V.T.C., Hunts. Cyclist Battalion and the local Military Hospital.  Outside the church a large crowd of sympathisers gathered to see the procession.  During  the service the Rev. Albert Hooper also mentioned the other members of the Church who had given their lives for their country so far, they were: I. Day, F. Dunkling, W. Deighton, W. Edwards, L. Geeson, D. Gray, C. Howard, T. Maile and C. Walker.  After the service the cortege proceeded to the Borough Cemetery, Broad Leas.  The pathways were blocked by townspeople paying their respects.  After the last rites were conducted by Rev. Hooper the coffin was lowered into the grave accompanied by three volleys fired by a party from the V.T.C., then Bugler Masters of the Hunts. Cyclist Battalion sounded the 'Last Post'. 

 

George's gravestone in Broad Leas Cemetery, St. Ives is inscribed:

 'FOR US - PARTING AND THE SORROW FOR HIM - GOD SPEED'     IN LOVING MEMORY OF GEORGE HOUSDEN THE BELOVED HUSBAND OF GRACE DELLAR WHO DIED DECEMBER 4th OF WOUNDS RECEIVED IN ACTION AT GUILLEMONT.  SEPTEMBER 3rd 1916. AGED 27 YEARS.  'WHAT IS NOBLER, SWEETER, PURER, THAN THE LOVE WHICH FRIENDSHIP BRINGS. WHEN TWO HEARTS IN TRUE AFFECTION MEET AND BLEND'

 Elsewhere George is also commemorated on St. Ives War Memorial, Market Hill as Pte. George Housden Dellar; St. Ives Free Church Memorial as Dellar, George; St. Ives Literary Society Memorial as George Housden Dellar - Pte. Beds. Regt.; and in St. Ives Parish Church.

George Housden Dellar married Grace Harlock at Somersham Baptist Church (Monday<) 15/1/1916. Harold Williams of Harrow was best man ( He does not show in the current HCB list of men, but there were several men from harrow that did serve) The couple spent their honeymoon at Hunstanton. - spelling Harlock or Harlick ??

 

From a local paper dated 5/9/16.   Private G. Dellar, Bedfords, St. Ives, son of Mr. George Dellar.

He was formerly clerk at Messrs. Cranfield and Wheeler, is suffering from a chest wound.

His wife has received information that the wounded is not serious.

From a local paper = 8/12/16 =  Death of Private G. Dellar.  On Monday afternoon news was received at St. Ives that Private George Dellar had died at Windsor Hospital from wounds received during the Great Push. Private Dellar, eldest son of Mr. George Dellar, Tenterlees, St. Ives. In his civilian life he was a greatly respected clerk for Cranfield and Wheeler. He was a very enthusiastic member of the V.T.C., but felt as time went on at that it was his duty to join up with the Cyclist Battalion. He was drafted into the Royal Warwickshire Regiment, and was almost immediately sent to the front, where he was seriously wounded. His wife and father were sent for and preceded to France, and shortly after came the news that he was progressing very well. A week ago he was removed to a hospital at Windsor, and on Thursday his friends were again wired for, and they found a great change in him for the worse. He died on Monday morning in their presence. The funeral will take place at St. Ives on Friday, and will be of a military character.

 

                                      He is remembered on the St. Ives War Memorial that is situated in the car park area off the main road and square running through the town.
Information provided by Judith Dunkling who is a relation of George.
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If you can help with any data on this Huntingdonshire Cyclist please contact me at huntscycles@btinternet.com

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St. Ives War Memorial photo. . .

09/04/2012

. . Martyn Smith