FALKINER, George Stride

Second Lieutenant, 2nd Bn., Royal Dublin Fusiliers.

Born

1897, son of Henry Baldwin Falkiner (Solicitor, decd) and Euphemia Falkiner of Greenoge, Dublin.

Education

Blundell’s School, “School House”, from September 1912, when he was 15, to Christmas 1915. He was a Temple Scholar and played for the school Football XV in 1914 – 1915. On 30th January 1915 he was a member of the school debating society which had proposed the motion that “This house considers the present censorship of war news too severe.” Mr G. S. Falkiner seconded the opposer, “explained that the reports were held back to ensure their accuracy. Recruiting would probably not be stimulated by more accurate accounts of life in the trenches. We trust Kitchener; surely we ought to trust his censorship.” After discussion the motion was lost by 14 votes to 7. He was made a school monitor in Autumn 1915 and entered Sandhurst with a Prize Cadetship (11th place) in February 1916.

Service

He was commissioned to the Dublin Fusiliers in October 1916. He went to the front in December 1916, was commended for gallantry in a raid on 27th May 1917.

The Offensive

The Salient was formed during the First Battle of Ypres in October and November 1914. The Second Battle of Ypres began in April 1915 when the Germans released poison gas into the Allied lines north of Ypres. This was the first time gas had been used by either side and the violence of the attack forced an Allied withdrawal and a shortening of the line of defence. There was little more significant activity on this front until 1917, when in the Third Battle of Ypres an offensive was mounted by Commonwealth forces to divert German attention from a weakened French front further south. The initial attempt in June to dislodge the Germans from the Messines Ridge was a complete success, but the main assault north-eastward, which began at the end of July, quickly became a dogged struggle against determined opposition and the rapidly deteriorating weather. The campaign finally came to a close in November with the capture of Passchendaele.

Death

16th Aug 1917, aged 19.
Killed in action, while leading his platoon to relieve troops at the front against very heavy artillery and machine gun barrage.  

Burial/Commemoration

2nd Lt Falkiner has no known grave so is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial, Zonnebeke,Ypres, Belgium, (Flanders). Panels 144 to 145.

Memorial

Tyne Cot Memorial to the Missing forms the north eastern boundary of Tyne Cot Cemetery, 9km East of Ypres on the N332, Ypres - Zonnebeck Road. This site marks the furthest point reached by the Commonwealth forces until nearly the end of the conflict. It commemorates those of all Commonwealth nations (except New Zealand) who died in the Salient, in the case of United Kingdom casualties after 16 August 1917 and now bears the names of more than 35,000 officers and men whose graves are not known. The memorial was designed by Sir Herbert Baker with sculpture by Joseph Armitage and F V Blundstone, and unveiled by Sir Gilbert Dyett in July 1927.
The Cemetery was established around a captured German blockhouse which was used as an advanced dressing stations but the original battlefield cemetery of 343 graves was much enlarged after the armistice when bodies of soldiers were brought in from the battlefields of Passchendaele and Langemarke and is now the largest Commonwealth cemetery in the World.

Research

Commonwealth War Graves Commission - www.cwgc.org
Public Record Office, National Archives, Kew: WO 339/78218?
“The Register of Blundell's School, Part II 1882 – 1932” (1932) MAHOOD, A.S., Ed. Entry No.5554
“The Blundellian”, November 1917 p338
Cemeteries & Memorials in Belgium & Northern France (2004) Commonwealth War Graves Commission. 6/149
Field visit (JEA & GRY 11.04.2005)

 

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