George Harmer was one of my Great Grandmother Dorothy’s older brothers. He was born on 19 February 1892 and baptised at St Giles Church in Dallington, Sussex on 25 March 1892. His parents were James Frederick Samuel and Helena Lorraine Harmer, my Great Great Grandparents.
This week’s #52Ancestors theme is Lost and poor George lost his life at the age of 21 due to a tragic accident.
George was one of 10 children born to James and Helena and I have found the record of his marriage to Ellen White on 24 August 1912 at St Giles Church, Dallington just a year before he died. Ellen was 22 and George was 20 and it would appear that Ellen was 6 months pregnant as Ronald was born on 19 November 1912 in Dallington and baptised at Dallington Church on 2 February 1913. The baptism record shows that George was a Labourer. According to one of a number of newspaper reports about his death, later that year, I found he was also a member of ‘B’ Company 5th Royal Sussex Regiment, B company were recruited in Battle, Sussex. It also mentioned that two of his brothers were also serving with the 5th Royal Sussex Regiment in India.
I need to look into that further as I only know of one brother, James who according to the 1911 census, was with the 2nd Dorsetshire Regiment, who apparently spent most of WW1 in India, and there is a hint that he fought during WW1 as on the 1921 census, James is at Broad Oak with Harriet Carter and her family. He married Harriet not long after. He was visiting pending discharge from the army on the census record.
Anyway back to George. The Sussex Express, Surrey Standard and Kent Mail reported on Friday 10 October 1913 that
‘A gloom was cast over Dallington on Tuesday evening when it became known that a fatal accident had taken place on Prinkle Hill’.
As far as I can see Prinkle Hill is the small lane that travels down the hill from Dallington main street to the main road, the B2096 past Prinkle Farm.
At about 4pm a wagon belonging to Charles Baker, was loaded with stone, and was descending the hill. George who was employed by Charles Baker, was leading the Shaft horse when it skidded on the slippery road and being unable to recover it was dragged along. George fell and the front wheel passed over him. Death was reported by the local Doctor as instantaneous. The rector broke the news to George’s widow and his family. At the Coroner’s inquest the following week a verdict of Accidental death was returned.
George was buried in Dallington Churchyard on 11 October 1913.
His Employer, Charles Baker owned Carricks Farm on the crossroads at the top of Carricks Hill (now the main road). According to George’s burial record he was living at Hack’s Bank which appears to be a cottage down the lane from Carricks Farm, and I wonder if it was a tied cottage. So far I have not been able to find any sign of Ellen and Ronald after the accident, it may be that Ellen married again soon after and I am yet to find her. The search goes on as I would like to know what happened to her and Ron. I presume they would have had to leave Hack’s Bank Cottage, again suggesting it went with George’s job as Farm Labourer. It would be good to find out.
Four of George’s brothers went onto fight in WW1, James as already mentioned, Charles who was with the 5th Royal Sussex Regiment, Service Number 3317 and wounded 11 December 1916, Thomas who may also have been with the 1st Royal Sussex Regiment in India and Percy who was killed on 3 March 1918 on the Somme, blog written about him in November 2020.