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The history of Clophill, Bedfordshire, UK
Including historical descriptions, maps and statistical analysis.

World War One

George Wilden

DIED OF PNEUMONIA - 13th FEBRUARY 1919 - AGED 29


George Wilden

George Wilden, Clophill (St Mary's) old churchyard.

 

BORN IN CLOPHILL IN 1890.

AIR MECHANIC 3RD CLASS 81092. 23RD WING RAF TRANSFERRED TO (543587) 477TH AGRICULTURAL COY. LABOUR CORPS.

ENLISTED IN CLOPHILL.

COMMEMORATED IN CLOPHILL (ST MARY'S) OLD CHURCHYARD, BEDS. IN NORTH EAST PART.

 

In 1911 George lived with his parents, Frederick & Sarah, 3 of his sisters, and his brother John who is also commemorated on our memorial. (See his profile.) George worked as a market gardener. His father was a gardener. They lived at 7 The Green.

In 1916 George was married to Amy Bitten in St Ives, Hunts. She subsequently lived at 168 Castle Road, Bedford. George died in Lincolnshire.


When the Royal Flying Corps was established in 1912 it was intended to be a joint service impartial to the rivalry that existed between the British Army and Royal Navy. By November 1914 the Flying Corps had significantly expanded and it was felt necessary to create organizational units which would control collections of squadrons; the term "wing" was re-used for these new organizational units. The last RFC wing to be created was the 54th Wing in March 1918 just prior to the creation of the RAF. 23 Wing's main aerodrome was at South Carlton, Lincolnshire, with a half flight at Thetford. The aerodrome at South Carlton was opened as a dedicated pilot training aerodrome in early 1916.

The Labour Corps was formed in 1917. Once it had been created it was split into various Labour groups including the Agricultural Company. This was formed of men below "A1" medical grade (most having been downgraded after wound, sickness or injury) and employed on farms. The agricultural industry had lost a very high proportion of its men to the services and this was a way to provide manpower. About 75,000 soldiers served in the Agricultural Companies of the Labour Corps and nearly all were in Britain. The Labour Corps grew to some 389,900 men (more than 10% of the total size of the Army) by the Armistice. Of this total, around 175,000 were working in the United Kingdom and the rest in the theatres of war.