Lance Sergeant George Alfred Randall

Date of Birth c. 1899
Age at Death 17
Date of Death 28 July 1916
Service Number
Military Service 13th Battalion East Surrey Regiment
Merton Address 82 Briscoe Road, Merton
Local Memorial Christ Church, Colliers Wood

Additional Information

Born in 1899, George was the son of sailor Henry Randall and his wife Elizabeth. In addition to George, the couple also had an older son, Harry, plus an unnamed baby and were living at 81 Winchester Road, Portsmouth. By 1901 they were also sharing their home with George’s maternal grandmother, Jane White.

Ten years later, the family had moved to Jane’s home at 95 North End Grove, Portsmouth. George now had two further sisters – Lilian and Violet. (The census wrongly listed the youngsters as the children, rather than the grandchildren of Jane).

Following the outbreak of war, George joined the 13th (Service) Battalion of the East Surrey Regiment, enlisting at Wandsworth on 11 August 1915. This was a ‘Pals’ Battalion, formed by the Mayor and Borough of Wandsworth in June 1915. The ‘Pals’ were specially constituted units of the British Army made up of men from the same locality who were friends, neighbours or work colleagues – they joined up together on condition that they also served together. George’s unit was taken over by the War Office in August 1915 and mobilised for war, landing at Le Havre on 4 June 1916 before joining the 120th Brigade in the 40th Division.

The men were engaged in various actions on the Western Front. The 13th battalion’s War Diary for 28 July 1916 shows that 2 N.C.Os and 1 other rank died on that day at Calonne, France. One of those listed is likely to have been George, who was just 17 years old when he died. He was part of a working party that was killed by a ‘Rum Jar’ which had exploded near to them. A ‘Rum Jar’ was a bomb of a similar shape to the jars the rum ration was delivered in, and as it was catapulted with a high trajectory rather than fired, it could be seen coming.

George is buried in the Loos Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France and is also remembered on the Mitcham War Memorial.

George’s brother , Harry Francis was awarded the Military Medal for ‘gallantry and devotion to field duty’ on 6 November 1917 while serving with the RFA as part of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force. He was discharged from the army in 1919.


* Required field