Blacker, George Frederick
Son of Dr. Arthur Edward Blacker, physician, of 20 Victoria Square, Clifton. Younger brother of Eveline Dew, and Helen Muriel.
Blacker was born on 13/07/1893, and attended the School from 1907-1909. He served as a Lieutenant in the Army, with the Northamptonshire Regiment 3rd Bn. attd. 2nd Bn.. Blacker sadly lost his life on 09/05/1915, as a result of the War.
Blacker is remembered on Ploegsteert Memorial, Belgium, reference addenda panel. He was originally buried close to where Le Trou Aid Post Cemetery at Fleurbaix now stands, but his body was lost in subsequent action – see report below.
Before the war, Blacker was a pupil at Western Countries Agricultural Association.
A Report of his Loss (BGS Chronicle July 1915)
"The name of Second-Lieutenant G.F. Blacker has been officially reported amoung the 'missing', but there appears to be but little hope that he is alive and a prisoner. He was the son of Dr. A.E. Blacker, of Victoria Square, Clifton, and left School from the 1st Modern in 1909, a quiet boy whom everybody trusted and liked. He was among the first to press to go to the front, obtaining a commission in the 3rd Battalion of the Northamptonshire Regiment. He was, after arrival in France, attached to 'A' Company of the 2nd Battalion. His father received a letter from Second-Lieutenant H.W. Caribb, who comes from Bristol, a letter which tells us all that there is to be known.
'as one of the very few officers who came safely through the action of May 9th, and also as an ex-Bristol O.T.C. Cadet, I am glad to be of any service that I can to you; but I am sorry that I have no good news. I fear that there is no hope from the fact that your son is reported 'missing'. It seems that he led his platoon, bravely choosing the dangerous flank and sending his sergeant to lead that which was less dangerous. The men of his platoon who were unwounded were all on the left, so I can get no report of how he fell. But by the way he started out there is no doubt that he fell bravely leading his men who had the most difficult task to do. You may be glad to know that the men, in their letters home, spoke in the highest terms of their officers who had fallen, showing that they had won their esteem, affection, and respect. I had not the pleasure of working long with your son, but during the short time we were thrown together just prior to that day I was exceedingly glad to get to know Mr Blacker better, and to be able to appreciate his qualities. I am sorry to be unable to give you better news, but it is no good giving you hopes which we, out here, feel certain are false. It is probable that definite news will come in later, but I think it will be that Mr. Blacker died close to the enemy's position in a brave attempt to lead his men over what proved practically insurmountable obstacles. Please accept my heartfelt sympathy.'
Private W. Budworth of Lieut. Blacker's company also writes: - 'Although your son was reported missing, you can be of the same opinion as the remainder of the men of the company that were left after the charge, that he still lies out on the open field close to the Germans' trenches - not only your son, but also Captain Ward Hunt and the other officers who were in charge of the platoons. No doubt they will get brought in eventually. I am sure you have got the deepest sympathy from all the men of 'A' Company. Your son was well liked and respected, ad he was a good sportsman, and I am sure that he died a hero's death, as we all knew what to expect as soon as we got over the parapet.' " - July 1915
De Ruvigny Private Roll of Honour
BLACKER, GEORGE FREDERICK, 2nd Lieut., 3rd, attached “A” Coy. 2nd, Battn. Northamptonshire Regt., only s of Arthur Edward Blacker, LRCP, IRCS., by his wife, Harriet Sophia Williams, dau. of the late Henry Robbins Dew, MRCS, LRCP, Assistant Staff Surgeon to Lord Raglan in the Crimean War, and gdson of the late George Frederick Blacker, of Midsomer Norton, MRCS, ISA’ b Bristol, 13 July, 1893: educ. Bristol Grammar School, was at the outbreak of war about to commence his medical studies, but at once applied for a commission and was gazetted to the Northamptons from the Bristol OTC, 28 Oct 1914.
He went to the Front, 30 March, and was killed in action at the Battle of Aubers Ridge, 9 May, 1915; unm. He was at first reported missing, but later his body was recovered and buried near an orchard about 300 yards south-west of the junction of Rue Petillion and the road from Sailly to Fromelles. The delay in recovering his body was due to the fact that the spot where he fell was in the open near the enemy’s lines, and was fiercely contested for many days. All the five officers in his company were killed on the same day, and most of the men were either killed or wounded by maxim gun fire in what his commanding officer, described as: “a very gallant attempt to close with the enemy”.
2nd Lieut G.F. Friendship, writing on behalf of the commanding officer to Dr Blacker, said that: “Blacker with his Coy took part in an attack we made on the German lines. As the Northamptons attacked, they were met by a perfect hall of bullets, machine and rifle fire. Nothing could live in it, and I am sorry to say, we lost a big number of men and officers. Your son acted most gallantly and was seen, before he was hit, shouting to his men to come on”; and Lieut. H.W. Carritt, one of the very few officers who came safely through that terrible charge, states that Lieut. Blacker led his platoon bravely, choosing the dangerous flank, and sending his sergt. to lead that which was less perilous. He died close to the enemy’s position in a brave attempt to lead his men over what proved practically insurmountable obstacles”.
De Ruvigny Private Roll of Honour Original: