George Abbott lived in John Street, Wordsley, and served in the Royal Field Artillery. His unit was the 61st Trench Mortar Battery which in early 1916 was stationed in Artois near the village of Laventie. A large force of artillery was brought close behind the Somme battle lines more than a week before the first day of this notable battle. Although the infantry attack would start on the 1st July the artillery were to fire the greatest number of shells to date for a major attack. The bombardment started on the 24th June and reached its maximum just before 7.30 a.m. on the1st July. It must be said that much of the German wire was not destroyed although the intensity affected the morale of the German defenders. Moreover, German counter-battery work was not halted and was aimed at potential reinforcements as well as the British gun emplacements. Gunner George Abbott was probably killed in the shelling of that fearful day. He is buried in Rue de Bacquerot No 1 Cemetery, Laventie (II J 5) and commemorated on the Wordsley Memorial.
High Street, Wordsley, West Midlands, DY8 5RU
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