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George Cohen

Lieutenant George Hubert Cohen was an English officer of the British Army who died during the First World War.

He was born on 26 January 1878, in Liverpool, the son of Australian parents Louis Sydney, a local politician and later Lord Mayor, and May Cohen (née Levy). His father had arrived in Liverpool in 1864, where he became associated with the department store Lewis's, eventually assuming control of the business.[1] The younger Cohen went to Cheltenham and Christ's College, Cambridge, from which he graduated with honours. He entered law as a barrister in 1903 and was travelling in Norway on the outbreak of war. [2]

Cohen, who had been active in the volunteer movement pre-war, enlisted immediately on his return to England, initially joining the Public Schools Battalion of the Middlesex Regiment. He was subsequently commissioned into the 5th (Rifle) Battalion, The King's (Liverpool Regiment), in which one of his brothers, Stanley, held the rank of major.[2]

It was during the Battle of Festubert, instigated on 15 May 1915 in support of the French Artois Offensive, that Cohen lost his life. His battalion's brigade was ordered to renew an assault, in spite of the 1/5th Battalion's commanding officer, Lieutenant-Colonel J.M. McMaster, reporting to his superior that heavy casualties would be incurred in doing so. The attack commenced on the morning of the 16th, with Cohen among the two leading platoons. These two platoons were ravaged by machine gun and rifle fire, and Cohen, who was wounded twice, was killed. None entered the German trenches, with survivors being compelled to seek cover in shell holes.[3] The battalion's casualties on its withdrawal to Le Touret a few days later amounted to 13 officers and 341 other ranks.[4]

He is buried in Guards Cemetery, Windy Corner, Cuinchy. His younger brother, Jack, sustained severe wounds in 1917, necessitating the amputation of both legs.

NotesEdit

  1. Cohen, Louis S., jewishencyclopedia.com. Retrieved 20 November 2012.
  2. 2.0 2.1 The Times (40863), Col A, p. 11: "Fallen Officers". 25 May 1915.
  3. Wyrall, Everard (1935/2002), 'The History of the King's Regiment (Liverpool) 1914-19, Naval and Military Press, pp. 144-5.
  4. Wyrall, Everard (1935/2002), 'The History of the King's Regiment (Liverpool) 1914-19, Naval and Military Press, pp. 151.

ReferencesEdit

  • Cohen, G H, cwgc.org. Retrieved 20 November 2012.

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