Sergeant George Feather MM

Sergeant.9th Battalion, Duke of Wellington's (West Riding) Regiment. Service number 15169. Military Medal.

Sergeant, George Feather MM.

Early life:

George was born late in 1894 to parents James (a plasterer) and Elizabeth Ellen. In 1901 he was 6 years old and living at 45, Keighley Road, Lees. with his parents and three siblings. By 1911 he was 16 and living at Cross Roads, Keighley, with his parents and five siblings and he was working as a spinner in a worsted factory.

War service:

He entered France on 15th July 1915.
Gazetted Military Medal 11th July 1917: '15169 L./C. G. Feather, W. Rid. R.' (Lance Corporal). He died of wounds in France on 20th Sept 1918.

Keighley News report dated 7th July 1917:

Corporal George Feather, of the Duke of Wellington's Regiment, elder son of Mr James Feather, 7, Arctic Street, Lees, near Keighley, has been awarded the Military Medal for conspicuous gallantry. Corporal Feather joined the colours in January 1915, and six months later went to France. He has been once on leave from the front in March, 1916. He has been in some of the heaviest fighting during successive offensives on the western front, and has received the congratulations of both officers and comrades on earning his distinction. Corporal Feather in civil life was in the employment of Messrs. E. Gates & Co., Cross Roads Mills. He is 23 years of age and highly respected in the village, where his newly-won honour has given great satisfaction.

A 'Players' cigarette card with a drawing in colour of a Military Medal and a ribbon with a broad blue stripe either side and three white and two red stripes alternating in the centre band.

The Military Medal and ribbon.

Keighley News report dated 1st September 1917:

LEES AND CROSS ROADS - PRESENTATION TO A MILITARY MEDALLIST. Corporal George Feather, eldest son of Mr James Feather, of Arctic Street, Lees, who was recently awarded the Military Medal for conspicuous gallantry, has been at home on leave during the past week, after two years and two months active service in France. Occasion has been taken by his friends in the village to mark their admiration and goodwill in a presentation which was organised by local members of the Haworth War Pensions Committee. A fine, serviceable luminous wristlet watch was given to Corporal Feather by a lady in the village, and he has also received a handsome sum of money from friends at Lees, Cross Roads, and Bocking, both gifts being presented "To Corporal Feather, from friends at Lees and Cross Roads, with every good wish for a speedy & safe return."

We think this photograph of George with his Military Medal ribbon was taken in August 1917 when he was home on leave (as detailed above.)

A British Army corporal wearing Army uniform and cap, seated in a photographic studio. He is wearing the striped medal ribbon of the Military Medal, above his left jacket pocket.

George in 1917 wearing his new Military Medal ribbon.

Keighley News report dated 26th October 1918:

A service in memory of the late Sergeant George Feather, eldest son of Mr James Feather, of East Terrace, Lees, who was recently killed in action, and who was the first Cross Roads soldier to win the Military Medal, was held in the Cross Roads Primitive Methodist Chapel on Sunday afternoon, Sergeant Feather attended the Sunday School connected with this church before the war, and sympathetic reference to his career and his self-sacrifice was made by the preacher (Mr J. Robinson, of Ingrow). The choir sang "Now the labourer's task is o'er." and Mr William Firth the song, "Into Thy hand." The organist, Miss A. Craven, played the Dead March at the close of the service.

Post war:

Awarded the 1915 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal for his war service.

A round blue plaque mounted on a stone wall. The words say:
Lees cum Cross Roads Village Association. Sgt George Feather. Military Medal Recipient and Hero of WW1 lived here 1895 - 1918.

George's blue plaque, unveiled on 13th April 2024.

George is remembered on the Lees, Cross Roads and Bocking War Memorial and on the Cross Roads Primitive Methodist Sunday School Roll of Honour, in Cross Roads Park. George is also named on the Haworth Oddfellows Great War Memorial, which is in the care of Wyedean Weaving in Haworth.

On 13th April 2024, a blue plaque was unveiled in honour of George on the wall of his former home in Cross Roads, West Yorkshire.

Source information:

Birth, marriage and death records.
1901 and 1911 census.
WWI Service Medal and Award Rolls, 1914-1920.
Army service records.
Keighley News archives, Keighley Library.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

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