George Arthur Mayall was born in Oldham in 1896. His parents were James, a roller coverer in a cotton mill, and Mary. George was their second son, the eldest Harold died aged six in 1898. That following year a sister, Nellie, was born. At the time of the 1901 census the family were at 40 Mitchell Street in Oldham's Westwood district. They were probably still there in 1903 when tragedy struck the Mayalls as George's mother died at the age of 40. His father remarried in 1905 to Hannah Crosdale at Holy Trinity in Coldhurst and then at some point after that they moved up the road to Royton.
The 1911 census found the Mayalls at 30 Seville Street with George working as a grocer's check boy for the Co-Operative Society, he later became a clerk for the Co-Op.
George enlisted into the army in Royton on December 7th 1915. He was immediately put on the reserve list and then mobilised on January 20th 1916, three days later he was posted to his unit. George was sent to join the 2nd/10th Battalion of the Manchester Regiment, this was Oldham's local territorial battalion and had been formed when the original unit, the 1st/10th, had left the town in 1914 for active service. When George joined them the battalion were based at Crowborough in East Sussex and then in March 1916 they relocated to Colchester. George's military career was fairly short and on July 4th 1916 he was discharged as being medically unfit for service. Whether this was due to the tubercolosis that eventually killed him is not known but the fact he is registered with the Commonwealth War Graves suggests so.George returned to Royton and he died at home, aged just 20, at 30 Seville Street on May 8th 1917.
George was buried in the churchyard of St.John the Baptist in Lees in what appears to have been a family grave. Sadly the graveyard has now fallen into disrepair and due to subsidence, fox and badger holes and a serious problem with Japanese Knotweed it is out of bounds to the public. George and the other three WW1 war dead in the churchyard are now listed as being commemorated on a memorial at Manchester's Southern Cemetery but this does not appear to have yet happened. One of the other dead, James Mayall may well have been George's cousin.
GEORGE ARTHUR MAYALL
Date of Death:08/05/1917
Cemetery:St John the Baptist Churchyard,Lees