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69936: George John Fawdrey

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posted on 2023-12-07, 12:47 authored by Oxford At War Project Team

George John Fawdrey, was born on 19th June 1885 and died 22nd January 1975, just before reaching his 90th Birthday. He was a chauffeur at Kingston House, Kingston Bagpuize, where he met and later married on 26th December 1914, Edith Townsend who was in service at nearby Cote House. Before the First World War George Fawdrey had a taxicab in St.Giles Oxford. He had planned to emigrate to America and join relatives who first settled in New York State in 1834. George purchased a ticket to travel on the S.S.Titanic in April 1912, but sold it at the last minute. He instead went to America on the Lusitania, possibly meeting successful dentist, Dr.David Fawdrey, but no sooner had he arrived, when it received word from England that his brother Percy was seriously ill. He returned to the U.K., but was too late to see his brother, Percy who died 8th May, 1912. George Fawdrey entered service with the Army Service Corps of the Oxford and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry. He was used to driving vehicles, and drove ambulances with his unit. He is shown on the left in the photograph as a lance corporal with his men. At various times, he had to go into "no man's land." On one occasion, he feinted being dead, and was left by the Germans on a dung heap. He was also court marshalled and almost shot at dawn by the British Army, possibly for desertion, although more likely as consequence of "shell shock," which was not understood at the time. After the war, he received an army pension, exactly why I do not know? He had horrific nightmares and flashbacks as a result of shell shock experienced in the war, which was difficult for his wife Edith, and my mother was often sent from Oxford on a horse carriage to stay with her grand parents at Kingston Bagpuize, which she much enjoyed. My mother was born on 6th October 1915, and her first recollection of her father was of a man with a bristly moustache, which she did not much like. Her father George, had a stubborn strong determination, yet could be emotionally touched when people came to visit him. He was always mending and fixing things, something as a young child I benefited, from this as he would bring home and repair cast off toys from Ellistons department store, where he worked on the boilers and lifts before retirement. Details supplied by his grandson:- David Stone, MSc.



David Stone

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George John Fawdrey


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