Date of Death:28/11/1915
Grave Ref:O.N.C. 4684.
George Howarth was born in late 1888 in Royton, one of twins along with brother James. Their parents were Samuel, a carter, and Margaret who were both originally from Heywood. They had older siblings; Ada, Alice, Annie & Richard. At the time of the 1901 census the eight of them lived at 42 Park Lane. They later moved to 8 Spencer Street and it was while here at the turn of the new year 1901, as George had just turned 12, that Samuel Spencer died aged 50.
The widowed Margaret was to move to Rochdale and they were living there in 1911 at 20 The Pass, off Ramsay Street. George was working as a piecer in one of the local mills and is recorded as being employed at the Regent Street Mill at the time of his enlistment in the army.
George enlisted in Rochdale on November 2nd 1915 and was allocated to the town's territorial unit - the 2nd/6th Lancashire Fusiliers (the original territorials, the 1st/6th being at Gallipoli by this time). The 2nd/6th had recently moved to Tunbridge Wells and George headed off, in good health, to join them there on November 9th. Just a few days later Margaret Howarth received news that he was seriously ill with pneumonia and she rushed down south to be with him. She remained there to be by his side until he died at St.Mark's Hospital in Tunbridge on November 28th, just 26 days after he had signed up.
The Howarth family arranged for George's body to be brought back home to be buried with his father and sister Annie (who had died in 1914) at Royton Cemetery and he was buried there on Thursday December 2nd with military honours. About 30 Rochdale territorials walked in the funeral procession and some of them acted as bearers.
Shortly after, his family posted the following notice in the Rochdale Observer:
In loving memory of our dear son and brother,Private George Howarth,
2/6th Lancashire Fusiliers, died November 28th.
If we could have raised his dying head.
Or heard his last farewell,
The grief woould not have been so hard
to those who loved him so well.
Missed by His Sorrowing Mother,Brothers and Sisters
George's mother Margaret, who died in Rochdale in 1930 aged 80, and twin brother James (1950, aged 64) are also buried in the plot but as seems to be the way with Commonwealth War Graves it is only George who is acknowledged with a headstone.
George is not commemorated on Royton's War Memorial and unfortunately Rochdale chose not to list the names of it's war dead.