Died of Pulmonary Tuberculosis & Exhaustion
Service Number: 6184
Date of Death: 19th May 1915
Age at Death: 38
Cemetery: St Peter & St Paul Churchyard, Ormskirk
Born: Nottingham 1881
Wife: Eliza Sharpe (Whitlock) of Nottingham
Brother: William J Sharpe, Sunnyside Hoby
Parents: Thomas & Mary Sharpe, Sunnyside Hoby
George Sharpe, who was born in Nottingham in 1881, was the youngest of the five children of Thomas and Mary Sharpe. The Sharpe family moved a great deal in pursuit of Thomas’ work as a groom and coachman in domestic service. By April 1901 their four older children had left home leaving only George with them. They were now living in the Aston district of Birmingham where George had found employment as a machinist in a bicycle factory.
On 24th July 1901 he travelled to Leicester and enlisted in the Leicestershire Regiment. Most of his subsequent Army career was spent in England but in 1904 he was posted to India, where he completed mounted infantry training at Poona in 1906. He spent over five years in the sub-continent before returning home in February 1909. Two years later, the 1911 Census shows him based at the Regimental Depot at Glen Parva where he was the groom responsible for the officers’ horses.
Following the outbreak of war, he was posted to France on 29th November 1914 but remained there for only two months until 27thJanuary 1915. Tuberculosis was rife in the French Army at that time and many British soldiers became infected with it in the trenches. As there is no record of his being wounded, this appears to be the fate which befell George Sharpe since he died of pulmonary tuberculosis only a few months later on 19th May 1915. He had been taken to Ormskirk in Lancashire where he was almost certainly treated in the Green Lane Isolation Hospital. He is buried there in the graveyard of the Church of St Peter and St Paul where his is one of several First World War graves. George Sharpe was posthumously awarded the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.
Although he never lived in Hoby, he was included on the War Memorial because his parents had moved by then to Sunnyside Cottage in Hoby from Melton Mowbray, where they had been at the time of the 1911 Census. George was recorded as being still single in 1911 but an Eliza Whitlock of Nottingham was subsequently listed as his widow by the War Office, with Whitlock presumably being her maiden name.
An Eliza Whitlock had been born in Upper Broughton, near Melton, in 1885 making her four years younger than George. Unlike him, she was illiterate. It has not been possible to confirm whether she had been his wife.