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George Edward Hellawell

George Edward HellawellPrivate George Edward Hellawell, 14661075, 2nd Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment.

George Edward Hellawell was born in 1925, one of twin boys of Netherton born Harry Hellawell and Alice Edith Hellawell (nee Webster) of Gawthorpe, Ossett, who married in Ossett in 1922. George's twin brother was Arthur Hellawell. There were three other siblings, all girls: Madge Hellawell born in 1922; Vera Hellawell, born in 1929 and Olive Hellawell, born in 1935.

In 1911, Harry was living with his parents and three siblings at King’s Buildings, Healey, Ossett. George Edward’s mother, Alice Edith Webster was one of nine children, three of whom had died before April 1911. In that year Alice Edith, aged 10 years, was living with her parents and six siblings, three boys and three girls, all aged under 12 years, in a two-roomed dwelling at Low Laithes, Ossett where her father worked as a coal hewer.

In 1939 Harry and Alice Edith Hellawell were living with four of their children at Swithenbank Street, Gawthorpe.

Private George Hellawell was with the 2nd Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment on D-Day, 6th June 1944 and he landed at Hermanville-sur-Mer, on Sword Beach without injury. However, during the bitter fighting around Caen or the Falaise Gap in July or August 1944, he was badly wounded by machine-gun fire in the Normandy bocage against crack German Panzer troops. Although not killed outright, he was in a pretty poor state and was shipped back to England to a military hospital in Oxford.

The "Ossett Observer" had this obituary for Private George Edward Hellawell:1

"Died From D-Day Wounds - Ossett Soldier's Military Funeral - A detachment of the Royal Corps of Signals from Westfield Barracks, Ossett, attended the funeral at Ossett Parish Church on Tuesday afternoon of Private George Edward Hellawell, twenty year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. Harry Hellawell, of 63, Swithenbank Avenue, Ossett, who died in a Sheffield Military hospital on Thursday from the effects of wounds received in France on D-Day.

Private Hellawell, who was seriously wounded in the spine and legs by machine gun fire in Normandy was flown back to a military hospital at Oxford, was later transferred to a hospital at Worcester, and finally to Sheffield, about 12 months ago. It is understood that paralysis had set in and affected his heart. He had joined the Army a year before D-Day in 1943, and was formerly employed by Eastmans Ltd., butchers, Bank Street, Ossett. He had attended Southdale School, and had formerly lived at The Green. One of his three sisters is the wife of Driver William Kemp (son of the late Mr. Allen Kemp, 23, Hillcrest Avenue, Ossett), who, as announced in our last issue, has been presumed killed in action in the Far East in 1942.

Wreaths sent included one from Ossett Fire Watchers Association, the manager and staff at Eastmans (butchers), and one from neighbours, and many letters of sympathy were received from friends. The Rev. R.N. Shelton officiated."

Private George Edward Hellawell died on the 17th January 1946 aged 20 years and is buried at Row 23, Grave 39 at Holy Trinity Churchyard, Ossett.

Sword Beach 1944

Above: Troops and vehicles of 3rd Division waiting to move inland from Sword Beach, 6th June 1944.


1. "Ossett Observer", Saturday, 26th January 1946.

2. Commonwealth War Graves Commission web site