I taught history in Kendal for 13 years. During that time, I, my colleagues and my pupils carried out several interesting projects relating to the Great War. In about 2005, I challenged my year 9 pupils to research the lives of the soldiers recorded on the town’s war memorial. Two young men embraced the challenge with gusto and wrote notes about every local soldier who is buried in Parkside Cemetery. One of them told me that he had never learned so much history before, which is exactly what I wanted to hear.
During July 2016, some pupils and staff from the Queen Katherine School in Kendal spent four days walking the Somme Battlefields in Northern France. The party was divided into four groups, each led by a teacher, who explored the experiences of one soldier buried or commemorated in the area. The group led by Dick Forsyth researched and commemorated George William Nelson from Kendal. Dick wrote the following biography, the first from Kendal to be published on this blog, but I hope not the last.
There is little evidence left of Private George Nelson, who died on 18th November 1916, the last official day of the Somme campaign, in an assault on German positions along
Redan Ridge to the east of Beaumont-Hamel. He had been in France just over three months. It appears to have been his first and only time in a large scale assault.