Shaftesbury Grammar School War Memorial

George Arthur Jeffery

Surname: Jeffery
Other names: George Arthur
Other people in this story:
George Jeffery
Ellen Jeffery nee Pardy
Locations in this story:
Donhead St. Mary
France & Flanders
Villers-Bretonneux Memorial, Somme, France
Court Farm, Higher Berry, Donhead St. Mary
Coronation Villa, Shaftesbury
Melbourne, Australia
Berwick St. John, Wiltshire
Shaftesbury Grammar School, Shaftesbury, Dorset
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Tel El Kebir, Egypt
Marseilles, France
Liverpool, NSW, Australia

Story:
George Arthur Jeffery was born in 1894 in Donhead St. Mary. He was the son of George Jeffery, a Farmer, and Ellen Jeffery (nee Pardy). At the time the family were living at Court Farm, Higher Berry, Donhead St. Mary. George's father died in 1904. George attended Shaftesbury Grammar School from September 1905 until April 1910. At the time of the 1911 Census George was single, working as a grocer's apprentice and living at 1 Coronation Villa, Shaftesbury. On 4th July, 1912 George emigrated on the SS Orama sailing from London to Melbourne, Australia. He settled in Sydney, New South Wales, and found employment with the NSW Government Railways as a tram cleaner in the North Sydney Tramway Depot.

He enlisted in Liverpool, NSW, on 3rd July, 1915 as a Private with the 4th Battalion of the Australian Infantry (Australian Imperial Force) (Service No. 2850). (At the time of his enlistment he gave his employment as an Engineer's Assistant.) He joined his Battalion in Tel El Kebir, Egypt, on 21st January, 1916 eventually transferring to the 56th Battalion on 19th February, 1916. Later he sailed from Alexandria and eventually arrived in Marseilles on 29th June, 1916. On 3rd December 1916 he was killed by an enemy shell while serving in a front line trench on the Somme. His name appears on the Villers-Bretonneux Memorial, Somme, France. His mother died within a month or two of George's death in early 1917. It appeared his employers were not advised of his death and they wrote on 21st May, 1920, asking when he would return to work. There is no copy of the Military reply. He was awarded the Victory, British War and 1915 Star medals. He is remembered on the Berwick St. John War Memorial and the memorial at Shaftesbury School.

A "First List of Old Shastonians Serving in H.M. Forces" was produced by Shaftesbury Grammar School in September 1915. It shows the regiment in which George served and the date and term in which he left school. His name was also included on a hand written list of Shaftesbury Grammar School old boys serving during the war. An asterix can be seen to the left of George's name, indicating that he had died, although the person compiling the list seemed a little unsure. The name above is that of J.G. Jeffery, who was referred to as Guy when he was at school, and it is known that he survived the war. The board is now at Gold Hill Museum. 

Printed Sources: 
Shaftesbury Grammar School Magazine, February 1917 
First List of Old Shastonians Serving in H.M. Forces, September 1915 

Images:
  • St. John the Baptist Church, Berwick St. John 01
  • Berwick St. John War Memorial
  • Shaftesbury Grammar School War Memorial
  • List of Old Shastonians 1
  • List of Old Shastonians 3
  • Shaftesbury Grammar School Old Boys 1
  • Shaftesbury Grammar School Old Boys 4
  • Berwick St John War Memorial 02

Links to related web content / sources:
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
The National Archives
Shastonian