Private George Merrington
27 August 1916
Private G R Merrington s/no 18521 1st Battalion
buried Lahana Military Cemetery
Towards the end of August the 1st Battalion were fighting close to the Orljak bridgehead. In the war diary, the only mention of casualties during the last ten days of August is on the 24th. “Regimental Transport shelled by enemy, causing one casualty (slight).” So Private Merrington could have been that one slight casualty who succumbed to his wounds or – it’s possible he also may have succumbed to disease.
In all non military sources his name is spelled Mirrington. He came from what we might call a dysfunctional family. He was born in Buxhall in early 1890. He and an older sister were the illegitimate children of Emma Mirrington, herself the illegitimate daughter of Louisa Mirrington who was apparently blind from birth. There is a clue in the censi; in 1891 Emma is housekeeper to the recently widowed George Euston and his 2 under 10s. Emma has the 1 year old George Mirrington with her. Then in 1901 Emma is a poultry plucker living in Rattlesden and with her is George R E Mirrington, age 11. Inevitably I have put two and two together and concluded that George Euston was Private Merrington’s father but I have found no baptism, no ‘Soldiers’ Effects’ nor Attestation Papers which might show next of kin.
Nor can I find Private Merrington remembered in Buxhall or in Rattlesden. Grandmother Louisa had died in 1882, and mother Emma in 1917. George Euston had remarried in 1894 and had a new, large, family. So, at the time when the committees, or working groups set up to erect monuments and plaques would have been working, there was no-one who would have put his case.