Second Lieutenant, Essex Regiment
Born: June 30th 1885
Died: August 9th 1916
Age at Death: 31
Killed in action, France, August 9th 1916
Grave reference: IV.L.4, Delville Wood Cemetery, Longueval
His headstone is engraved as follows:
UNTIL THE DAY BREAKS
wording provided by Mrs Lena C.O. Ross
A DONATION TO THE MEMORIAL STATUE HAS BEEN MADE IN HONOUR OF THIS SOLIDER BY AN ABRAHAM HOUSE LEAVER 2016.
Brighton College Register: Son of Harry Thornton Ross of Hove.
From CWGC: Only son of Harry Thornton Ross, and Lena Caroline O. Ross, of 30 Norton Road, Hove, Sussex.
HOVE CEMETERY: ROSS – In loving memory of my husband Harry Thornton Ross Superintendent Madras Police and of 30 Norton Road, Hove at rest 10th March 1914. Also of Lena Caroline Outram Ross wife of the above 24th November 1934.
Essex Regiment manoeuvres:
On the night of 8th/9th August 1916 the 13th Bn. Essex Regiment attacked enemy positions between Waterlot Farm and Guillemont with heavy losses -
From the war diary -
2nd Lieut G H T ROSS MISSING
2nd Lieut P R PAGE MISSING
2nd Lieut E O JOHNSON Wounded (at duty)
13 Other Ranks Killed
60 Do Wounded
13 Do Missing
1 Do Died of Wounds"
George's body was later found and then moved to the Delville Wood Extension.
The Ross family are noted in the book HOVE & PORTSLADE IN THE GREAT WAR by Judy Middleton
"Second Lieutenant Ross was the only son of Harry Thornton Ross, Superintendent of the Madras Police, and Mrs Ross of 30 Norton Road, and grandson or Major Montagu Battye, Royal Body Guard. He was posted as missing and presumed killed leading his men into battle. His father had already died on 10 March 1914, but his mother Lena Caroline Outram Ross soldiered on until 1934."
George Harry Thornton Ross (Hampden 1900-1903)
George Ross was born on June 30th 1885 in Marylebone, London. He was the only son and third child of Harry Ross, a former police superintendent in Madras, and his wife Lena (nee Battye). The family then moved to Hove, Sussex where Ross was a pupil at the College. Ross’s career after leaving the college is unclear and there is the suggestion that he went abroad, presumably somewhere in the British Empire. On the outbreak of war in 1914 he volunteered for service and received a commission in the Essex Regiment on 23rd April 1915.
Ross was attached to the 13th Battalion, Essex Regiment which landed in France in November 1915 and formed part of 2nd division. The Battalion fought at the battle of Delville Wood, which was part of the Somme campaign, it was there that on 9th August 1916 that Ross was listed as missing in action during in action in Trones Wood. The Battalion had launched an attack but found that the barbed wire in No Mans Land had not, as promised, been cut so they were, in the words of the regimental diary ‘mown down by machine gun fire’.
Despite being initially posted as missing Ross’s body was later found and his grave is in the Delville Wood Cemetery, Longueval, France.
Source: LEST WE FORGET Project, Brighton College 2014-15
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