9th Battalion, Royal Irish Fusiliers (British Army)
26/03/1918 (Died of Wounds)
George Henry joined the North Irish Horse prior to the war and as a trooper had gone to France at the outbreak of hostilities. For some months he was the bodyguard of Sir John French when he was Commander-in-Chief, and afterwards of General Smith-Dorrien. On 13th January 1918, Sergeant Henry was awarded the Military Medal along with Lance Corporal A.C. Clarke. He received severe wounds in action on 14th March 1918 and died on the 26th March at the Australian General Hospital at Rouen.
George Adams Henry was the youngest son of William James and Jane Henry. George was born in Cookstown about 1895.
The 1901 census records the family living at Cloghog, Moneyhaw, Londonderry with Williamís parents. William was a farmer. George was six years old.
Family: William James Henry, Jane Henry, Robert Henry (born about 1885), Minnie J Henry (born about 1886), Thomas Henry (born about 1888), Adam Henry (born about 1892), George Adams Henry (born about 1895).
At the time of the 1911 census, this farming family sill lived in Moneyhaw. George was 16 and working on the farm.
George Henry enlisted in Cookstown and joined the North Irish Horse prior to the war and as a trooper had gone to France at the outbreak of hostilities.
For some months he was the bodyguard of Sir John French when he was Commander-in-Chief, and afterwards of General Smith-Dorrien. Their work involved trench digging, barb-wiring and sand-bagging redoubts, etc. and on several occasions the wiring has been done outside the front line parapets, not fifty yards from the German trenches. They also carried wounded from trenches to advanced dressing stages and escorted German prisoners to the nearest rail-head from reserve line. They also served in the trenches as infantry when required.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 11th December 1915: Trooper Henry Home
Trooper George A Henry, son of Mr William James Henry, Cloghog, has arrived home for a few days from France. He is looking fit and has increased considerably in weight since his last visit some seven or eight months ago. He has been engaged on the bodyguard of the Commander in Chief, with a number of other troopers of the North Irish Horse, their duties being military police work, carrying despatches and conducting German prisoners back from behind the firing line. Some of the North Irish Horse are doing their turn in the trenches, but Trooper Henry has not yet had the privilege. One of his companions, Trooper Sam Espey, has at his own request, being engaged in the trenches fir a considerable time.
In a letter to the local newspaper, some of C Squadron were quite aggrieved that they were been misrepresented and stated that they were rarely out of the firing line
A letter published in the Mid Ulster Mail dated Saturday 15th January 1916: C Squadron, North Irish Horse.
Dear Sir, We would respectfully draw your attention to a statement which appeared in a recent issue of your paper, just come to hand, namely that Troopers S Espie and G Henry were home on leave from the Squadron of the North Irish Horse (A) acting as bodyguard to Sir John French at General Headquarters. The above-mentioned are Corporals and belong to C Squadron, which as been acting as Divisional Cavalry since coming to France on 22 August 1914, with the exception of a few months last winter, when the squadron was broke up to work with different Corps Headquarters. Owing to the absence of real cavalry work, the chief work of the squadron has been in the nature of pioneer work viz., trench digging, barb-wiring and sand-bagging redoubts, etc. and on several occasions the wiring has been done outside the front line parapets, not fifty yards from the German trenches; also carrying wounded from trenches to advanced dressing stages; escorting German prisoners to the nearest rail-head from reserve line, and taking their turn in the trenches as infantry when required. In fact this Squadron has not been out of the firing line (proper) since they came out, and a good many of our comrades out here have rather resented the statement, that has so often erroneously appeared in your valuable paper, that the Squadron was on Headquarters work. Esteeming the favour of a correction at an early date, with best wishes to the good old Mail for the New Year. We remain yours faithfully R Averall 485, H Bradley 968, Corporal S Brown 583. No 1 Troop, C Squadron, North Irish Horse, 3rd Division Cavalry, British Expeditionary Force. 1st January 1916.
From an unknown newspaper dated about 1916-1917: Lance Corporal G A Henry
Lance Corporal G A Henry, North Irish Horse, who has just returned to the front after a brief visit home at Cloghog, Cookstown. Lance Corporal Henry looks in the pink of condition, and when he left his comrades, they were also in the best of health.
Several months before he died he was transferred to the 9th Battalion of the Royal Irish Fusiliers (41401) and took part in several engagements.
On 13th January 1918, Sergeant Henry was awarded the Military Medal along with Lance Corporal A.C. Clarke.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 2nd February 1918:
The Military Medal has been awarded to Sergeant George A Henry, Royal Irish Fusiliers, and formerly of the North Irish Horse. Sergeant Henry is a son of Mr W J Henry, R.D.C., Cloghog, Cookstown, and has been at the front since hostilities commenced.
Lance Sergeant George Henry M.M. received severe wounds in action on 14th March 1918.
Official notification of his award of the Military Medal was reported in the London Gazette on 15th March 1918.
Lance Sergeant George Adams Henry M.M. died of his wounds on the 26th March at the Australian General Hospital at Rouen.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 30th March 1918:
Sergeant George A Henry, Royal Irish Fusiliers (youngest son of Mr W J Henry, Rural District Council (R.D.C.), Cloghog, Cookstown), died at the Australian General Hospital, Rouen, on 28th March, from wounds received in action on the 14th. The deceased, who was just 24 years of age, had joined the North Irish Horse prior to the war, and as a trooper went to France soon after the outbreak of hostilities. For some months he was on the bodyguard of Sir John French, when Commander-in-Chief, and afterwards of General Smith-Dorian. Seven or eight months ago he transferred to the Royal Irish Fusiliers, since when he took part in several engagements. His parents received official intimation that he had received a gunshot wound in the thigh on the 14th March. On the 19th, he wrote to his mother that she not fret about him as he was getting on all right. Official word of his death was the next sad message. He was a young man of exemplary character and greatly respected, and his death is greatly regretted. Much sympathy is felt with his parents and other relatives in their sore bereavement.
At the morning service in Second Cookstown Presbyterian Church on Sunday last, Rev David Maybin, B.A., made touching references to the death of Sergeant Henry, whose family have long been connected with the congregation. He is the sixth of the men from this congregation who have given their lives in defence of the country.
Lance Sergeant George Adams Henry M.M. is interred in plot 6- row H- grave- 12b at St. Sever Cemetery, France.
George Henry M.M. is commemorated on Cookstown Cenotaph and on Second Presbyterian, Roll of Honour (Molesworth) Cookstown.