HOLMES George Henry

Known information

There is a lonely memorial gravestone propped up against the wall in South Luffenham churchyard, and with it, a mystery. It is dedicated to George Henry Holmes who died in November 1914 on the other side of the world. But who was he, and what was his connection with South Luffenham? If you rub away the lichen you can make out some details, including his Navy number and that he was a muscian with the Royal Marines Band. He died on 1 November 1914, on board HMS Monmouth in the Battle of Coronel off the coast of Chile, a disastrous encounter for the Royal Navy early on in the First World War, after which his body was never found. What the memorial stone does not tell us is what link he had with South Luffenham, and who was so anxious for him to be remembered here in the churchyard. We have established George was born on 26 October 1880 in Madras in India. He first served in the Army for 11 years and later enlisted in the Royal Navy as a musician on 12 August 1908, aged 27. Three years later we know he was serving in China and the East Indies. He married Elizabeth, who was listed at an address in Boothman Road in York when he joined the Royal Navy and had moved to Ferndale Avenue in Devonport at the time of his death. Is Elizabeth the South Luffenham connection? Or is he somehow related to Sapper Harold Holmes, originally from South Luffenham, who also died in the war and is commemorated in the church at Braceborough, Lincolnshire? Although George is not on South Luffenham's war memorial inside the church, he is on Panel 6 of the Portsmouth Naval Memorial, and the School of Music Memorial in the city.

His memorial in South Luffenham churchyard reads:

In loving memory of


Musician No 1458

Who went down with the sinking

of HMS Monmouth

November 1 1914

Aged 33 years

The sea gave up the dead which were in it

                                                                     Rev. XX 13


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  • Portsmouth Naval Memorial 1
  • Portsmouth Naval Memorial 2
  • Panel 6
  • G H Holmes
  • Musicians' Memorial

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Rutland and The Battle of the Somme

More than 90 Rutland soldiers died in the Battle of the Somme which lasted from 1 July 1916 until the middle of November. Today they lie in cemeteries across the old battlefield in northern France or are remembered among the 72,000 names on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme. By using our interactive map, you can find out what happened to them.

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