George William Dale was one of five children born to Frank and Alice, née Berry, three of whom died in infancy. He was born in Biddulph in about 1889. Frank had married Alice Berry at a civil ceremony in Congleton in 1888 and the couple began their married life in John Street. In fact Frank had lived all of his life in John Street. In 1891, Frank, who was a blacksmith, along with his wife, father-in-law and two sons, George and James, still lived in this street. Ten years later, the family were still resident in John Street and George William, although only twelve was employed although his occupation is difficult to read (possibly an assistant book keeper). By 1911, at 151, John Street, George was still at home with his parents and brother. He was described as a waggon sheeter at the ironworks and colliery, probably Robert Heath’s, where his younger brother James was a boiler maker and his father Frank was a blacksmith.
At some point after 1911 George made a move north, to Glasgow. It is not known if all the family moved or if it was just George. It was at Glasgow that George enlisted, giving his place of residence as Glasgow and his place of birth as Biddulph.
George served in the 6th Scottish Borderers, a battalion who were attached to the 9th Scottish Division and trained at Bordon and Bramshott. This division went to France on May 12th 1915 crossing the channel and landing at Boulogne. However, the medal card for George shows no entry date.
The division saw action in October 1915 at the Battle of Loos then in July 1916 they fought bravely in the Battle of the Somme with actions at Albert and at Bazentin where they captured the village of Longueval. These actions were followed by the bitter struggle at Delville Wood and Transloy. In the spring of 1917 the 6th Battalion Scottish Borderers were again ordered into action in the Battle of Scarpe and the Arras Offensive.
Following these actions George was wounded and taken to the 8th Casualty Clearing Station at Duisans, where on June 6th 1917 he succumbed to his wounds and sadly died.
George William Dale is now at rest in the nearby Duisans British Cemetery Etrun near Arras.
George is not commemorated on any of the local memorials. Perhaps this suggests that all of the family moved to Glasgow before the onset of war.
Michael Turnock, Elaine Bryan and Elaine Heathcote.