Ferard, George Deas

Lieutenant / Devonshire Regiment

1896 - 1918

George Deas Ferard was born 27 June 1896, the second son of Henry Cecil Ferard of the Indian Civil Service and Ida Margaret Ferard, daughter of Joseph Deas, and brother of Cecil Leonard Ferard (E 1908-1913).

He came to Winchester College in September 1910 from Cordwalles School and was in E House, Morshead's, under Mr Irving.

Ferard obtained a commission in 1914 in the 6th Battalion King's Royal Rifle Corps and left Winchester early in 1915. The College Archives and The Times state that he joined the 4th Battalion but his medal card gives 6th Battalion - The 4th KRRC were in India when war was declared, the 6th th KRRC were stationed in Winchester, and it seems much more likely that he joined 6KRRC. However this Battalion never went to the front, and it is probable that he went out to France in 1916 with the unit in which he was later wounded, the 7th Battalion KRRC.

Feard was wounded twice, once with the 7KRRC during an attack at Arras on 10 April 1917. He eventually transfered to the Devonshires, and was granted a fortnight's home leave at the beginning of 1918. During this time his promotion to full Lieutenant was confirmed and he rejoined his regiment on 20 January 1918 at Winnezeele in Flanders. The offical record states that Ferard fell on 21 February 1918 at Bellevue whilst attending to a wounded man. This is not mentioned in the diary for that date, although the previous day's entry says 'Bellevue was subjected to considerable gas shelling during the day, and the Battalion had eight casualties from gas' and it is possible he died as a result of gas poisoning. His body was never recovered as conditions were so bad that the dead were soon lost - 'Gas shells were getting altogether too plentiful to be comfortable in that desolate wilderness of death and destruction. Casualties were becoming far too numerous, and where men fell there they remained... A couple of salvoes of German shells opened [the] grave again, and disclosed the bodies of a dozen, or more, men of all ranks and regiments. More shells came and churned up the earth, covering them once more, while the broken crosses were buried in the mud',  (taken from R.A. Colwill, Through Hell to Victory).

Ferard is commemorated on Panels 38-40 of the Tyne Cot Memorial, and the war memorial at St Mary's Church, Winkfield, Berkshire.

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