Private George Francis Quin

Date of Birth c. 1874
Age at Death 43
Date of Death 14 April 1917
Service Number T/201899
Military Service 1/4 Battalion East Kent Regiment
Merton Address 23 Crusoe Road, Mitcham
Local Memorial Christ Church, Colliers Wood

Additional Information

Born in Mitcham in 1880, George was the son of John and Mary Quin. The couple had three other children – Mary, John Jnr and William. The family lived at 6 Harland Cottages in Church Road, Mitcham. George’s father was a foreman/timekeeper at a local varnish factory – possibly Harland’s Paint and Varnish works on Phipps Bridge Road.

By 1891, the Quins had moved to 6 Spring Gardens, also in Church Road. George now had two younger siblings, Albert and Eleanor but sadly their father died later that year. In 1901 the family was living at 18 Love Lane, Mitcham, together with Mary’s widowed father, Charles Child. George was now working as a General Labourer. Snuff production was still an important industry in the Wandle Valley and his younger brother, Albert, was employed as a Machine minder in a local tobacco mill. George married Edith Skillern, c.1907 and by 1911 the couple were living at 23 Crusoe Road, Mitcham together with Edith’s parents, Thomas and Caroline. Her 68 year old father was described as being of ‘Private Means’, so could presumably afford to support an extended household. George was also working as a House Painter.

During the war George became a Private in the 1/4th Battalion, East Kent Regiment, having enlisted at the Mitcham Recruitment Centre. For some reason his military records all transpose his name to Francis George Quinn, rather than George Francis Quin.

The 1/4th battalion was a territorial unit and was sent to India in February 1916, so that regular units could be transferred for service in France. Unfortunately little is known of George’s time in India. He died there on 14 April 1917, at the age of 37. He has no known grave, but is commemorated on the Kirkee 1914-1918 Memorial near Poona, Bombay. This commemorates more than 1,800 servicemen and women who died in India during the First World War. George is also commemorated locally on the Mitcham War Memorial.

George’s siblings seem to have retained their links to Mitcham. His sister, Eleanor, continued to live in Chapel Road until her death in 1973. George’s brother John lived in Tooting for many years. His own son enlisted in the army in 1914 but fortunately survived the war.


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