Purdon, George Hardress

He was the son of Colonel Edward Winter Purdon-Winter, of Lisnabin, Killucan, County Westmeath and Cecilia Purdon-Winter, daughter of Charles Edward Radclyffe of Little Park, Hampshire. He was one of four Wykehamist brothers, the others being Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Edward Purdon (A1907-1912) (later known as Purdon-Winter, then Winter), Samuel Francis Purdon (A1908-1913) and Lieutenant-Colonel Denis James Purdon (A1914-1918). He came to Winchester from Mr. C.P. Banks’ school at Llanddulas, and his last year was Head of the House.

He left in 1915 for Sandhurst, and was posted the same year to the Second Battalion King’s Royal Rifle Corps, proceeding to the front in the following May. He was killed on July 23rd 1916, on Pozieres Ridge, early in the Battle of the Somme. That day 2KRRC was involved in an attack on the German ‘Switch Line’ north-east of Pozières. The advance began at 1230, but the Germans had seen the attacking units assembling and opened a vicious machine-gun fire from the left. The Germans appear to have placed well-camouflaged machine-guns in shell craters all over the area, making it hard to knock them out and exposing units to fire from all sides. Only Purdon’s ‘D’ Company of 2KRRC made it into the German trenches, with the units on either side of 2KRRC  failing in their attack, as a result of which ‘D’ Company was unsupported on its flanks and came under attack from the German lines with hand-grenades. 2KRRC were forced to withdraw, having lost 8 officers, including the Commanding Officer and 2nd Lieutenant Purdon, who was posted as missing.

War: World War 1

  • Surname: Purdon
  • Forenames or initials: George Hardress
  • House: A
  • Years in School: 1910-1915
  • Rank: 2nd Lieutenant
  • Regiment: King's Royal Rifle Corps
  • Date of Birth: 16th January 1897
  • Date of Death: 23rd July 1916
  • How Died: Killed in action
  • Location in War Cloister: Outer F5
  • Decoration: NA
  • Burial Site: Unknown but commemorated on pier and face 13A and 13B of the THIEPVAL MEMORIAL