George Dibben

Date of birth: 1885
Place of birth: Southampton
Regiment: Royal Engineers
Battalion: No. 1 Special Company
Rank / Service No: Pioneer, 321902
Died: 24th March 1918, aged 32 years
Commemorated: Pozieres Memorial, France


George was the sixth of 7 siblings born to William James and Mary Ann Dibben (nee Cooke), who married in Greenwich on 31 October 1875.

William was an ironmonger who was born in Southampton in 1851. He died in Bournemouth in 1929.

Mary was born in Southampton in 1849 and passed away in the city in 1924.


The family lived in Wellbeck Avenue, Highfield.



Ebenezer   b. 1876 Southampton   d. 1944 Winchester   Married Alice Annie Roberts in Southampton in 1898.

Charles   b. 1877 Southampton   d. 1942 Southampton

William   b. 1879 Southampton   d. 1931 Southampton   Married Sophie Louise Bishop in Southampton in 1903.

Harry   b. 1881 Southampton   d. 1951 Shrewsbury   Married Ada Ellen F. Smith in Southampton in 1904.

Frank   b. 1883 Southampton   d. 1973 Droxford   Married Jessie Campbell Scott Farquhar on Isle of Wight in 1908.


Eveline   b. 1887 Southampton   d. 1962 Southampton   Married Charles F. Fisher in Southampton in 1912.


George married Ethel Kate Scovell in Portswood in 1910; there were no children.

Ethel was born in the city in 1889 and she passed away in 1962 in Kensington.

After George’s demise, she married Frank Walter Richmond in Westminster on 5 April 1919.


No Special Companies existed in 1914. They were formed as a result of the Germans using chlorine gas on defenceless French troops in the Ypres Salient in April 1915.

The British used chlorine gas for the first time during the Battle of Loos in September 1915.


By May 1916, the British were ready to fire shells containing phosgene gas, a much more accurate method of dispensing gas.

George was part of the 5th Mortar Battalion, so he was probably involved in firing phosgene shells.


The Memorial relates to the period of crisis in March and April 1918, when the Allied Fifth Army was driven back by overwhelming numbers across the former Somme battlefields.

This preceded the Advance to Victory, which began in August 1918.


The memorial holds the names of over 14,000 UK servicemen who perished on the Somme from 21 March to 7 August 1918.



Researcher: Mark Heritage
Published: 6th July 2016


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