Private George Farndale
Click here for Loftus Family History
See also these letters, some of
which are reproduced below
Highland Light Infantry
resident of Loftus, he enlisted at Whitby probably in the Gren Howards and was
then transferred to the HLI. He was killed in action on 27th May 1917 aged 26
while serving with the 1st/9th (Territorial Glasgow Highlanders) Battalion of
the Highland Light Infantry in 100th Infantry Brigade of 33rd Infantry
Division in operations against the Hindenburg Line.
George Farndale was killed in action on the 27th of May 1917, during the Battle
of Arras, barely one month after arriving in France.
The Loftus Family History Group have been given access to letters he wrote from
the Front to his sister Annie, in Loftus, and letters from comrades and family
offering sympathy after his death. Read them on the Loftus Family History
George Farndale was born about 1891 in Egton, Yorkshire,
youngest son of John Farndale (a Deputy in an ironstone mine, born about 1851
in Egton, Yorkshire) and Susannah Smith (born 1853
in Cropton, Yorkshire), who married around July
1872 in Egton, Yorkshire.
George was born around the time his father, a Farm Labourer, became an Ironstone
Miner, so he would have witnessed quite a change in his young life, from the
pastoral surroundings of Egton village to the
hustle and bustle of Loftus, Yorkshire. His father must have been a quick learner,
progressing to Mines Deputy in 10 years. George followed his father and other
brothers into the ironstone mines, becoming, by 1911, a Blacksmith's Striker,
living with his family at 19 Tees Street, East Loftus
George was a Private, Service No. 333852, in the 9th (Glasgow Highland) Battalion,
Highland Light Infantry, although he was originally Service No. 26456,
Alexandra Princess of Wales Own (Yorkshire Regiment). He was Killed In Action
on the 27th May 1917 (a day made infamous by the French Army mutinies
following the disastrous Nivelle Offensive, which
left 100,000 French dead), in the German Retreat to the Hindenburg Line. His
body was never recovered and he is commemorated on Bay 8, The Arras Memorial,
Pas de Calais, France.
and decorations: Victory Medal, British War Medal
Died 27 May 1917 aged 26. Buried: Bay 8, Arras Memorial, son of John Farndale,
6 East street, Loftus Yorkshire.
Sunday 8/4/17, Dear
Just a line to tell you that I arrived at Folkestone at 7 o
clock this morning and I am in a rest camp now waiting of a ship. It is quiet a fine place here. I think we shall leave here at
10.45 am for the ship which I think will take us to Boulogne where we will
stay over night. I got a very descent breakfast
here and had an extra tea before we left Catterick. They also gave us 20
packet of cigarettes each. Well tat-ta for the
present will write you again as soon as possible. With Love Geo
Received latter on Tuesday last and parcel today. I must
say the parcel was extra. The cake is excellent, also must say that you could
not have sent a more suitable parcel. Well I must send you my sincere thanks
for your kindness also for writing to the Girl. I am sorry I had to send home
for some money, but I only get 5 francs here, and I want to get some of those
French cards to send you as I know you would like some of them. I am pleased
to hear you are all keeping well. I wrote to the Girl on Sunday so I am expecting
to hear from her anytime. Will you send me one of your photos as I would like
one with me out here, please put your name on it. Remember me to all and Give
them my best respects, also down John St. How is Father keeping hope he isn't
worrying about me as I am alright. Well I think this is about all I have to
say so I must draw to a close thanking you once again for parcel also hoping
to hear from you again soon. Well tud-a-lu
from Your Loving Bro Geo.
P.S. I am not afraid about the watch and parcel, as I know
the young man I left with is honest and straight in every way, and I told him
he wasn't to go down special with it, he was to post it anytime when he was
going to town.
With Love again
I am just sending you a line to tell you that I am in a
draft and expecting to go out any day. If you haven't wrote and sent the
things I asked for don't trouble, as I may be gone before they arrive and I sharn't be able to take them with me. If I should be here
over the weekend I will write you again on Sunday if not I will try and send
you a line before I leave. I have got all my kit ready for going but I don't
think I shall go before Saturday or Monday. Well be
sure and don't worry about me and tell Father not to, as I shall be alright,
and I must say before I go that you and Father have been very kind to me as I
never wanted for anything and I must say you have done more than your duty
towards me. Of course it may be weeks before I go into the trenches as am
sure to be kept at the base for a week or two. If I should send for anything
when I get to France, be sure and register it, as it will make it more sure
of me receiving it. Well don't write any more until you hear from me again
and don't think anything is wrong if you don't hear from me for a short time,
but I promise you to write you as soon as I possibly can. Well this is all I
have time to say just now, so I will now close, trusting this finds you all
well. Remember me to all. Well be sure and don't
worry about me, and look on the bright side of it as I shall soon be back
With Love, From Your Loving Bro Geo
PS. If the writing pad comes I will give it to some of the
boys as it won't be worth sending it back. I shall very possibly be sending
some shirts home.
Dear Mr Farandale
I deeply regret to inform you of the death in Action of your son 333852 Pte G
Farandale on 27th May. He was a good soldier and a popular
fellow, beloved by us all and our deepest sympathy goes out to you and yours at
Believe me, Yours truly, D W Greenhulds, 2Lt, 9th HLI.
It is with deep regret I inform you that your Bro George was killed on the 27th
May. He had just gone into the trenches the previous night and before it was
properly daylight a German trench mortar came over and struck George death
being instantaneous. I have know George for a good
long time and he was a fine pal. He was in the Yorks
at Hartlepool when I was, and we were transferred to 2/9th HLI together May
1st/16. It was New Years time when I mist him as he was sent to Scotland and I was left with
Batt. Eventually I came out to France in Feb and it was there at the base I
met him again and we have been together practically all the time. I was next
to him on the 20th/5/17 when we went over and took the German front line
trench, which we held for 2 days and then were relieved. You have my deepest
sympathy in your sad bereavement and hope you will find consolation in
knowing that he died faithfully doing his duty. The officer got his pay book
and pocket wallet which I expect will be sent on to you.
332854 Pte R Sellars 9th H.L.I. Glasgow Highlanders
C. Company 11 platoon.
Sawbridgeworth, Herts. Thursday
Dear Miss Farndale:-
I am deeply grieved on hearing from you yesterday morning
that dear George has been killed in action, and all at Shingle Hall including
myself wish to express our deepest sympathy with you all in this dark hour of
It was an awful blow to me dear, and is one that I shall never
forget. He was such a nice quiet and gentle boy and was very much liked by
all who knew him in Sawbridgeworth, and no fellow could not think so much of
a girl as your dear brother did of me, and had he been spared to come back
safely we intended getting married. I don't know if he ever spoke about it to
It will be awfully kind of you to copy those letters for me
and shall be most pleased to receive them.
Yes dear, I will see about another doz. p.cs.
being copied and will write and let you know, as I shall be only too pleased
to do anything for you, for the sake of the dear one I have just lost.
He sent me the Yorkshire badge (as he said no one else
should have it but me) also the cap badge of the H.L.I. and bought me a small
regimental brooch of the H.L.I. so I shall always think of the dear boy.
Now dear Miss Farndale I will draw to a close trusting you
will all accept our deepest sympathy once more.
With fondest love hoping to hear from you again soon
Your sincere Friend
P.S. Please excuse pencil.