George William Conder, L/Cpl 2006, 1/6th Battalion, West Yorkshire Regiment (Prince of Wales’s Own)
Killed in action 11th October 1915 in Belgium, aged 37
George William Conder was born in Hornby, Lancashire in 1878, the son of Caroline Mary and Arnold Clarkson Conder, a silk spinner from the Isle of Wight. By 1881, the family had moved to 19 Howey Hill, Congleton, where two year old George was living with his parents and siblings Caroline Lucy (6) and Kathleen Mary (3); Arnold Conder was described in the census as a “master silk spinner employing 30 men & boys and 60 women”.
Ten years later in 1891, the family was living in Bath Vale, Buglawton, near Congleton. George’s sisters were educated at a boarding school in Bootle, near Liverpool, but George attended the Grammar School in Macclesfield.
The family moved home again and by 1901 were living at Brook Street, Congleton. Now aged 22, George was employed as a Clerk in a Silk Mill (no doubt employed by his father). Another house move took place in the intervening years before the next census on 2nd April 1911, and on this date the family were at 2 Moorhead Terrace, Shipley. George was now employed as a yarn salesman, again most likely for his father, who had his own business as a yarn agent.
George was listed in the 1915 electoral register as a lodger, renting a first floor furnished bedroom at 2 Moorhead Terrace, with his father named as a the landlord. The whole page of this ‘lodgers list’ in the electoral register appears to be of men renting bedrooms in properties with the landlord at the same address; it seems this was a way of enabling young men to qualify to vote at elections.
George enlisted with the 6th West Yorkshire Regiment (the local Territorials) in Bradford in 1908, which was mobilised soon after the outbreak of war, forming part of 146th Brigade of the 49th Division. After training at Selby, Strensall, York and Gainsborough, the Battalion landed at Boulogne on 16th April 1915 and joined the defences along the banks of the Yser canal, northeast of Ypres.
On 11th October, the Battalion was near Brielen, north of Ypres, where some bombing and rifle fire was exchanged in the early hours of the morning. More bombs were exchanged in the afternoon, and the enemy artillery was very active during the afternoon. At some time during this day George was killed in action, aged 37.
In Macclesfield, L/Cpl George Conder is commemorated on the King’s School war memorial, and his medals are on display in the King’s School library.
Elsewhere, he is commemorated on the St Peter’s Church, Shipley, Yorkshire war memorial.