George Rawlings

View George on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website
Service number:
16356
Rank:
Private
Service:
Leicestershire Regiment
Origin:
Date of birth:
1881
Date of death:
06 April 1916
Age at Death:
36
RAWLINGS George

Known information

George Rawlings was the son of John and Harriet Rawlings of Braunston, and the elder brother of John Charles Rawlings who also died in the First World War. However, while John Charles is remembered on the Braunston War Memorial, and in George Phillips' Rutland and the Great War, George is not. This may be because he had moved from Braunston around 1901 according to the census. He enlisted in Melton Mowbray with the 2nd Battalion Leicestershire Regiment and died on 6 April 1916 in Mesopotamia [Iraq] at the Battle of Sannayiat. The Indian Brigade, of which the Leicestershires were part, was sent from France to Iraq, arriving at Basra on 6 December. The Brigade now formed part of Tigris Corps, ordered to relieve an Anglo-Indian force under siege at Kut-al-Amarrah, south of Baghdad. The advance up the Tigris began on 4 January and met stiff opposition from Ottoman forces almost from the start. In early April, after a number of battles and skirmishes, the brigade was preparing a dawn attack on the Turks, at Sannayiat. The Leicestershires' war diary takes up the story: "Owing to considerable delay during the march the attacking brigades were 1000 yards short of enemy's position at daylight. Suddenly the enemy opened up with withering fire. The first two lines of the Brigade pushed forward to within 800 yards of the enemy's postion until compelled to halt through very heavy casualties (our own artillery on the right bank responsible for a considerable number.)" It was in this action that George was killed, one of more than 300 battalion casualties. He was buried near where he fell but his grave has been lost and he is now remembered on Panel 12 of the Basra Memorial, along with two other Rutlanders who died in the same action, Herbert Billings and Benjamin Baines. After the war his wife Annie was living in Church Lane, Anstey, Leicester. His brother John died in 1917.

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