war memorial at dusk, photographed by Michelle Cooper



the family, courtesy Peter BatesGeorge Bates married Amelia Page on 6th June 1910, at the Wesleyan Chapel in Snargate Street, Dover. Their son, Leslie, was born four years later.

They had been married just over seven years when George was killed on 3rd October 1917, near Gheluvelt, Belgium, during the Battle of Passchendaele.

An account in The Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment 1914-1919, by C T Atkinson, states,  marriage certificate, courtesy Peter Bates"From Ridge Wood, the battalion moved forward,  and on the night of October 2nd/3rd took over the right of the Fifth Division's new frontage, SE of Veldhoek. The relief was much delayed by heavy hostile shelling, but was at last accomplished, the battalion's right resting on the Menin Road ...

Hardly had the battalion settled down into its trenches before a heavy bombardment opened all along its line ... It was misty, and at that early hour, between 5 and 6am, the light was none too good, and the Germans, though received with a hot fire, managed to penetrate to the trenches at several points, only death certificate, courtesy Peter Batesto be immediately ejected, leaving dead and prisoners behind. ...

Half an hour later the Germans returned to the attack .... [The defences had been re-organised and strengthened]. Moreover the light was now better and this time the Germans were stopped 50 yards short of our wire. Their casualties were heavy [and increased as they were sniped].

 "C" company had over 20 casualties, "A" (Captain Cobb) on the left came off better with only 7 ....But as the day wore on the tale of casualties rose as the enemy's artillery increased.  (Note from the war diary: "The enemy shelled our positions at intervals during the day.") "B" company, in support trenches south of the Menin Road, caught the worst of this shelling and figured largely amongst the 100 casualties on the day's list."

above right: marriage certificate of George and Amelia Bates
above left: certificate of death for man dying while on service in the war of 1914-1921

the sisters, courtesy Peter Bates

George's wife, Amelia, was said to have remained downhearted, while their son and only child, Leslie, grew up fatherless.  George had many in his family to mourn: here are his sisters:

left to right: Hettie, May, Nan (front), Lizzie, Millie, Lottie

the brothers, courtesy Peter Bates


Here are George's brothers:

left to right: Ted, Horace, Jim, Fred, Harry, with Jack in front, and George himself on the far right.

George's grandson wonders if the image of George was inserted after the picture was taken - perhaps even after George was killed?


see also Two Visits and George Bates

with thanks to Peter Bates

Copyright 2008/9 Marilyn Stephenson-Knight. All Rights Reserved