4 December 2016

GREAT WAR CENTENARY: George Housden Dellar

George Dellar was born in St Ives, in the old county of Huntingdonshire, in 1889, oldest of the four children of George & Ellen (nee Culpin).  My second cousin twice removed, he grew up in the town and was working for Cranfield & Wheeler, solicitors in St Ives.

George initially enlisted in the Hunts Cyclists Battalion but later transferred to the 1st Beds.  in January 1916 he married Grace Harlick in Somersham, which was reported by the local paper "The Hunts Post":-

"Military Wedding: On Monday at the Baptist Chapel, Miss Grace Harlick, youngest daughter of the late Mr James Harlick, of Somersham, was married to George Housden Dellar, late of St Ives and now serving in the Hunts Cyclists Corps. The officiating minister was the Rev. H E Jessop. Mr Harold Williams, of Harrow, acted as best man. The bride was given away by her mother. A large number of friends assembled to witness the ceremony, after which the happy pair left for Hunstanton."

Sadly, George was wounded at Guillemont on 3rd September that year and died of his wounds in hospital in Windsor on 4th December.  The Hunts Post has a number of reports on his death.  On 8th December:-

"Death of Pte George Dellar: Pte George Dellar, of St Ives, passed away at Windsor Hospital on Monday morning, in the presence of his wife and father. Pte Dellar was badly wounded in the chest in the early stages of the Great Push, and when taken to the base hospital in France was in so dangerous a state that his wife and father were wired for. They proceeded at once to France, where they had the gratification of finding the young soldier much better, and left him with every hope of recovery. Last Thursday a fateful wire came, and Mrs Dellar with her father in law proceeded at once to Windsor. The deceased was only 27 years of age. For a considerable period he had held a confidential position in the offices of Messrs Cranfield and Wheeler. He was an enthusiastic member of the VTC and went into khaki with the Hunts Cyclists, being subsequently transferred to the Royal Warwickshire Regt. Last January he married Miss Grace Harlick, daughter of the late Mr Harlick and Mrs Harlick of Somersham. The interment takes place at the St Ives cemetery on Friday afternoon, with full military honours."

The following week's edition contains a full report of George's funeral and it is clear that it was well attended, and the locals also came out to line the streets.  

We will remember them.