204344, Acting Sergeant Henry
Farndale, RFA (FAR00495)
Awarded the British War
Medal and the Victory Medal
Private George Farndale
Click here for Loftus Family
See also these letters, some
of which are reproduced below
Highland Light Infantry
resident of Loftus, he enlisted at Whitby probably in the Gren Howards and
was then transferred to the HLI. He was killed in action on 27th May 1917
aged 26 while serving with the 1st/9th (Territorial Glasgow Highlanders)
Battalion of the Highland Light Infantry in 100th Infantry Brigade of 33rd
Infantry Division in operations against the Hindenburg Line.
George Farndale was killed in action on the 27th of May 1917, during the
Battle of Arras, barely one month after arriving in France.
The Loftus Family History Group have been given access to letters he wrote
from the Front to his sister Annie, in Loftus, and letters from comrades and
family offering sympathy after his death. Read them on the Loftus Family
History Group website.
George Farndale was born about 1891 in Egton,
Yorkshire, youngest son of John Farndale (a Deputy in an ironstone mine, born
about 1851 in Egton, Yorkshire) and Susannah Smith
(born 1853 in Cropton, Yorkshire), who married
around July 1872 in Egton, Yorkshire.
George was born around the time his father, a Farm Labourer, became an
Ironstone Miner, so he would have witnessed quite a change in his young life,
from the pastoral surroundings of Egton village to
the hustle and bustle of Loftus, Yorkshire. His father must have been a quick
learner, progressing to Mines Deputy in 10 years. George followed his father
and other brothers into the ironstone mines, becoming, by 1911, a
Blacksmith's Striker, living with his family at 19 Tees Street, East Loftus
George was a Private, Service No. 333852, in the 9th (Glasgow Highland)
Battalion, Highland Light Infantry, although he was originally Service No.
26456, Alexandra Princess of Wales Own (Yorkshire Regiment). He was Killed In Action on the 27th May 1917 (a day made infamous by the
French Army mutinies following the disastrous Nivelle
Offensive, which left 100,000 French dead), in the German Retreat to the
Hindenburg Line. His body was never recovered and he
is commemorated on Bay 8, The Arras Memorial, Pas de Calais, France.
and decorations: Victory Medal, British War Medal
Died 27 May 1917 aged 26. Buried: Bay 8, Arras Memorial, son of John
Farndale, 6 East street, Loftus Yorkshire.
Sunday 8/4/17, Dear
Just a line to tell you that I arrived at Folkestone at 7 o
clock this morning and I am in a rest camp now waiting of a ship. It is quiet a fine place here. I think we shall leave here at
10.45 am for the ship which I think will take us to Boulogne where we will
stay over night. I got a very descent breakfast
here and had an extra tea before we left Catterick. They also gave us 20
packet of cigarettes each. Well tat-ta for the
present will write you again as soon as possible. With Love Geo
Received latter on Tuesday last and parcel today. I must
say the parcel was extra. The cake is excellent, also must say that you could
not have sent a more suitable parcel. Well I must send you my sincere thanks
for your kindness also for writing to the Girl. I am sorry I had to send home
for some money, but I only get 5 francs here, and I want to get some of those
French cards to send you as I know you would like some of them. I am pleased
to hear you are all keeping well. I wrote to the Girl on Sunday
so I am expecting to hear from her anytime. Will you send me one of your
photos as I would like one with me out here, please put your name on it.
Remember me to all and Give them my best respects, also down John St. How is
Father keeping hope he isn't worrying about me as I am alright.
Well I think this is about all I have to say so I must draw
to a close thanking you once again for parcel also hoping to hear from
you again soon. Well tud-a-lu
from Your Loving Bro Geo.
P.S. I am not afraid about the watch and parcel, as I know
the young man I left with is honest and straight in every way, and I told him
he wasn't to go down special with it, he was to post it anytime when he was
going to town.
With Love again
I am just sending you a line to tell you that I am in a
draft and expecting to go out any day. If you haven't wrote and sent the things I asked for don't trouble, as I may be gone before
they arrive and I sharn't be able to take them with
me. If I should be here over the weekend I will
write you again on Sunday if not I will try and send you a line before I
leave. I have got all my kit ready for going but I don't think I shall go
before Saturday or Monday. Well be sure and don't
worry about me and tell Father not to, as I shall be alright, and I must say
before I go that you and Father have been very kind to me as I never wanted
for anything and I must say you have done more than your duty towards me. Of course it may be weeks before I go into the trenches as
am sure to be kept at the base for a week or two. If I should send for
anything when I get to France, be sure and register it, as it will make it more sure of me receiving it. Well don't write any more
until you hear from me again and don't think anything is wrong if you don't
hear from me for a short time, but I promise you to write you as soon as I
possibly can. Well this is all I have time to say just now, so I will now
close, trusting this finds you all well. Remember me to all. Well be sure and don't worry about me,
and look on the bright side of it as I shall soon be back again.
With Love, From Your Loving Bro Geo
PS. If the writing pad comes I
will give it to some of the boys as it won't be worth sending it back. I shall
very possibly be sending some shirts home.
Dear Mr Farandale
I deeply regret to inform you of the death in Action of your son 333852 Pte G
Farandale on 27th May. He was a good soldier and a
popular fellow, beloved by us all and our deepest sympathy goes out to you
and yours at this time.
Believe me, Yours truly, D W Greenhulds, 2Lt, 9th
It is with deep regret I inform you that your Bro George was killed on the
27th May. He had just gone into the trenches the previous night and before it
was properly daylight a German trench mortar came over and struck George
death being instantaneous. I have know
George for a good long time and he was a fine pal. He was in the Yorks at Hartlepool when I was, and we were transferred
to 2/9th HLI together May 1st/16. It was New Years time
when I mist him as he was sent to Scotland and I
was left with Batt. Eventually I came out to France in Feb and it was there
at the base I met him again and we have been together practically all the
time. I was next to him on the 20th/5/17 when we went over and took the
German front line trench, which we held for 2 days and then were relieved.
You have my deepest sympathy in your sad bereavement and hope you will find
consolation in knowing that he died faithfully doing his duty. The officer
got his pay book and pocket wallet which I expect will be sent on to you.
332854 Pte R Sellars 9th H.L.I. Glasgow Highlanders
C. Company 11 platoon.
Sawbridgeworth, Herts. Thursday
Dear Miss Farndale:-
I am deeply grieved on hearing from you yesterday morning
that dear George has been killed in action, and all at Shingle Hall including
myself wish to express our deepest sympathy with you all in this dark hour of
It was an awful blow to me dear, and is one that I shall
never forget. He was such a nice quiet and gentle boy and was very much liked
by all who knew him in Sawbridgeworth, and no fellow could not think so much
of a girl as your dear brother did of me, and had he been spared to come back
safely we intended getting married. I don't know if he ever spoke about it to
It will be awfully kind of you to copy those letters for me
and shall be most pleased to receive them.
Yes dear, I will see about another doz. p.cs.
being copied and will write and let you know, as I shall be only too pleased
to do anything for you, for the sake of the dear one I have just lost.
He sent me the Yorkshire badge (as he said no one else
should have it but me) also the cap badge of the H.L.I. and bought me a small
regimental brooch of the H.L.I. so I shall always think of the dear boy.
Now dear Miss Farndale I will draw to a close trusting you
will all accept our deepest sympathy once more.
With fondest love hoping to hear from you again soon
Your sincere Friend
P.S. Please excuse pencil.