Remembrance Day: George Bathe

At this time of year, we must take the time to remember the many people who gave their lives in combat, to ensure each and every one of us all a better future

One such man was the Swindon player George Bathe.

George, nicknamed ‘Fodger’, was born in Shrivenham in 1891 to George and Charlotte Bathe, along with his siblings Charlotte, William and John. George Senior was a builder and carpenter, who moved to Swindon with his family first to Western Street, before settling down at 69 Kingshill Road.

George Junior, like many Swindon men of his generation, entered the Greet Western Railway Works and in 1911 was a blacksmiths labourer in the locomotive shop.

Just three years later the world was plunged into one of the darkest periods in human history.

George joined the 1st Battalion Wiltshire Regiment in the early days of the war, as Private 10221 and was shipped out to the front in France, to fight his way into Belgium.

Not seven months after the conflict began, on 20 February 1915, George Bathe was killed in battle, and interred at Kemmel Chateau Military Cemetery.

George was not the first Swindon player to lose his life in this war, and he certainly wasn’t the last.

So today, we remember George, as we remember the 17 million others, both friend and foe, who lost their lives in the First World War, in the hope that we never see such a conflict in our lifetimes.

A thanks to Phil Bathe (George’s great-nephew) and Andy Binks, for providing the research on George Bathe for this article.

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