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Priestman, G.A., 2nd Lieut., 1918
Photo ; Jim Pasby Private Collection

NER Railway Magazine 1918 page 130

Medal Index Card

Newcastle Chronicle Wednesday 29th May 1918

Ushaw College

In the Bagneux British Cemetery, Gezaincourt is the Comonwealth War Grave of 59711 2nd Lieutenant George Aloysius Priestman, serving with the 19th Battalion, (Service) Northumberland Fusiliers, 2nd Tyneside Pioneers, who died 15/05/1918.

George Aloysius [Louie] Priestman was born on the 5th January 1892, at 33 Howard Street, North Shields, Northumberland, to William, born 1845, Monkseaton, [a school board attendance officer], and Catherine, born 1846, Chirton, [nee Curran, who died before 1918], he was the youngest of seven children, two older brothers and four sisters. Catherine, married surname, Honour, [a Elementary School Teacher], Eugenie Margaret L., [married a Dunleavy], Laetitia, John William, [Clerk to a Fish Salesman], Austin Frederick [Solicitors Clerk], and Mary Josephine.

Catherine had moved to Canada, and was residing at 1137 Pandorn Avenue, Victoria, Vancouver Island by 1920.

George was educated at St Cuthbert's Grammar School from 1902 to 1908 in Newcastle prior to studying at St Cuthbert's College, Ushaw College from 1908 to 1914, as a student for a priesthood. He was studying at Ushaw College from the summer of 1908 to the autumn of 1913.

Ushaw was a Roman Catholic seminary in the north of England for the training of Catholic priests.

George was employed by the North Eastern Railway as a clerk in the Passenger Department at North Shields Station for a short time before he joined the forces on the 4th June 1915.

By 1911 the family had moved to 10 Upper Norfolk Street, North Shields, Northumberland. George originally enlisted in the Royal Army Medical Corps, as a private on the 4th June 1915, at North Shields. He was 5 feet 8 inches high tall, 135 lbs.

George was at Aldershot on the 10th June 1915 attesting with the R.A.M.C., he then was stationed at the Curragh Military Hospital from the 15th June till the 1st October, 1915, acting Corporal on the 17th October 1916. Then was reverted back to private on the 5th February 1917. Office Cadet on the 14th March 1917. Reported to Pirbright in No 19 Officer cadet Battalion. His character references were supplied by Mr F, Wrightson, Station House, Railway Terrace, North Shields and Mr W. H. Brown, St Cuthbert's College, Ushaw, Durham.

He went to France on the 18th November 1915. George was then gazetted a temporary 2nd Lieutenant from the 27th June 1917 attached to the 19th Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers.

On the 6th December 1916, George made a will, in the event of his death, at the 37th Casualty Clearing Station where he was based. leaving all of his possessions to his sister Miss Mary Priestman then residing at 10 Upper Norfolk Street, North Shields.

He joined the battalion on the 25th August 1916.

George died from his wounds received on the 7th May 1918, at the No 3 Casualty Clearing Station, [based at Gezaincourt from the 28th March 1918 to the 14th September 1918], from a shell wound to his face and his head on the 15th May 1918.

"Shields Daily News 17/05/1918.

George Priestman was a Student Roman Catholic priest at Ushaw College from 1908-1913. He is recorded on the Ushaw College Roll of Honour as a 2nd Lieutenant of the Northumberland Fusiliers, who died from his wounds on 15th May after been severely wounded in the head on 6th May 1918.

Deaths Priestman. At Casualty Clearing Station, France, died from wounds, May 15th. Second-Lieut George Aloysius (Louie) Priestman, youngest and beloved son of William and the late Catherine Priestman, 10 Upper Norfolk Street, North Shields. RIP".

His will made his sister Mary Josephine Priestman sole legatee, who was residing at 8 Kensington Gardens, North Shields.

George Aloysius Priestman is remembered at Tynemouth in the Roll of Honour T36.14 page 22, at Newcastle in NUT256 pages 244 and 164, at Ushaw College on U10.01 and U10.07 and is also remembered on the North East Railway War Memorial at York.

The CWGC entry for 2nd Lieutenant Priestman

If you know more about this person, please send the details to janet@newmp.org.uk