George William Lane of Geeston joined the 2nd Battalion Queen's (Royal West Surrey Regiment) on 1 March 1917. He was sent out to France on 2 June and took part in the attack and capture of the Messines Ridge. A few weeks later on 26 October his battalion took part in an attack on Gheluvelt during the Third Battle of Ypres (Passchendaele). The Queen's war diary describes how the battalion formed up on the right hand side of the Menin Road near a point known as Tower Hamlets. It was raining steadily by Zero hour at 5.40am when the attack began. At first, information came back by runner that things were going well. But then there were reports of confusion and setbacks as the battalion war diary recorded: "The advance had suffered a check and considerable disorganisation was taking place among the advancing troops." The problem was a German strongpoint known as Lewis House, bristling with machine guns and blocking the advance. Many officers had become casualties and attempts to outflank Lewis House had failed. The Queen's and other battalions involved were beaten back and by nighfall were consolidating their positions at their original jumping off point. In Rutland and the Great War, George Phillips quotes an eyewitness who spoke of the difficult and exposed nature of the ground and told how hard it was for the wounded to reach a dressing station, half a mile back along duckboards. All the ground between the lines was covered by machine gun and heavy German shell fire. George Lane was one of 134 men the war diary reported missing among a total of 301 killed, wounded and missing. A note in the diary states: "The above only gives those known to have been Killed or to have reached an Aid Post. Difficulties in clearing the ground prevented any Aid Post records being kept and reports from Hospitals have not yet been received." George has no known grave and is remembered on Panel 16 of the Tyne Cot Memorial as well as on the war memorial standing outside Ketton church. He left a widow and two children.
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