George Snary was born in Empingham on 6 May 1889, one of seven children of Charles and Sarah Ann Snary. At some stage before 1911 the family moved to Easton on the Hill where George, then aged 22, worked as a farm labourer and groom. He enlisted on 8 November 1915 in Stamford, and the following day went to Lincoln where he was deemed fit for service at home or abroad and joined the Royal Garrison Artillery. He left Southampton for France in late July 1916 and joined the front line on 30 July that year, serving with 71st Heavy Battery. His great nephew Michael Chambers has a postcard which George sent from France to his sister Emily back at home in the UK. It says: My Dear Em, I'm just sending you your photograph back to let you see where the old jerry popped a bullet through it. On June 6th 1917 on the ridge between Messines and Wytschaete I went over the top to attend to two wounded. Whilst doing so a German sniper put a bullet across my chest and through both my tunic pockets, through my pocket wallet with photos inside, you will see by this one what a narrow escape I had. Your loving brother George Snary xxx. George died from wounds on 31 August 1918, just a couple of months before the end of the war. His family had by this time moved to Stamford. Details of his death were published in the local paper, quoting the letter his parents received. It was written by Major C E Walker and said: "I am extremely sorry to have to inform you that your son, No. 57292 Gunner G. Snary died of wounds on the night of August 31, 1918. I do not think he can have suffered much, as he was unconsious almost at once and died on the way to the dressing station. We are all very sorry to lose him, as he was a very good man, popular with everyone in the battery and a thoroughly good soldier. He was with his horses at the time and a shell fell into the waggon lines close to where he was. His personal belongings will reach you in due course, but as these have to be sent through official channels they may be some time. Please accept my sympathy, and that of all the officers, N.C.O.s and men of the battery in your great sorry and loss." George was a cousin of Ernest William Snary of Whissendine who was also killed in the First World War. He too had joined the Royal Garrison Artillery, enlisting a year after George. George is buried in France, at Assevillers New British Cemetery, grave VIII.B.9, but sadly is not remembered on Empingham's war memorial, or the one at Easton on the Hill. But he is remembered on the war memorial in Stamford, the town in which his father was living at the time of George's death.
Pictures of the postcard with the bullet hole in it and the newspaper article are published below, having been kindly provided to us by his great nephew, Michael Chambers
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