Lance Corporal George Hounsome

Regiment:  Hampshire 15th (service) Battalion
Service No:  18465
Date and place of birth: 4th qtr 1883 in Minsted, Sussex
Date and place of death:  1 July 1916 in France

Family background

George Hounsome was the youngest son of Jesse and Mary Jane Hounsome, nee Palfrey, who had married in 1873. Jesse Hounsome died in 1890 at the age of 44 and at the 1891 census his widow, Mary Jane Hounsome was heading the household. With her were their five children: William (13), an agricultural labourer, Bessie (11), Frank (9), George (7) and Mary (3). They were living in Andrews Lane, Minsted, Stedham, Sussex.

In 1901 they were living in Minsted and with Mary Jane were William (23) a cowman, Frank (19), a carter, George (17) an ‘ordinary labourer workman’ and Mary (13).

By 1911 only Frank, a bricklayer’s labourer and George (27), a labourer in garden, remained with their mother.

Bessie Hounsome had married John Clark in 1909 and in 1911 they were listed as in the employ of John Ernest Jewel in ‘Beaconsfield’, Birchington, Kent: Bessie as cook and John as butler.

Mary Hounsome was listed as cook domestic in Lower Sloan Street, Chelsea.

William Hounsome had married Kate Enticknap in 1902 and they, with their children: Frank (6), George (4), John (3) and Bessie (1) were living in Minsted. Also living with them were Frank Jacobs (39), cowman and their niece Ethel Clark (3 months). William was working as a cowman on the farm.

George Hounsome married Evelyn Smith in 1912. They had two children – Douglas G Hounsome born in 1913 and Evelyn J Hounsome born in 1915.

Military service

George Hounsome enlisted in Gosport and joined the 15th (Service) Battalion, Hampshire Regiment (2nd Portsmouth).  The Regiment was formed on 5 April 1915 in Portsmouth by the Mayor and local committee.  On 3 May 1915 it was taken under War Office control and moved to Aldershot to join the 122nd Brigade of the 41st Division. The majority of the units that made up the Division were local and primarily from the South of England. The Division was inspected by King George V and Field Marshall Lord French on 26 April 1916.  It moved to France between 1 and 6 May and by 8 May was concentrated between Hazebrouck and Bailleuil.

He was awarded Victory and British medals.

Death and commemoration

George Hounsome died of wounds on 1 July 1916. He is buried in Bailleuil Communal Cemetery Extension Nord II.E.114. He is commemorated on Midhurst War Memorial and Memorial Panels in Midhurst Parish Church.

Probate was granted to his widow Evelyn Hounsome on 28 March 1917.

Subsequent family history

Mary Jane Hounsome died in 1915, aged 70, in Midhurst

William Hounsome died in 1916, aged 39.

Evelyn Hounsome married John Clark in the Petersfield district in 1926.

Midhurst U3A WW1 War Memorial Project