Pte. George Henry Grindley

George Henry Grindley was born in London, England, on August 8, 1892.1 His father died when he was young and his mother placed him in a Barnardo Home.2 He worked on the farm of Mr. Walter Hilts of Marmion and stayed with Mr. and Mrs. J.H. Malden when in Owen Sound. Grindley attended the O.S.C.I in 1912 and 1913 and was granted a permit to teach locally following his education. He was known for his involvement with his church in Owen Sound.3 Grindley enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force on November 20, 1914, in Toronto, at the age of 22. He was cleared for active service after a medical examination the same day. Standing at 5’8” and weighing 170 lbs, Grindley was considered ‘fit’ for service and was posted to the 5th Canadian Field Ambulance within the Canadian Army Medical Corps. George was Owen Sound’s first contribution to the Ambulance Corps. Grindley and his unit sailed from Canada on April 18, 1915.4

    Pte. Grindley arrived in England on April 29, 1915, where his unit remained at Otterspool Farm Camp, Kent, until September of that year. On May 31, 1915, Grindley’s last will was made out; leaving all of his belongings to his mother, Catherine Hodges, of Norbury, England. The 5th Field Ambulance remained in England until September 15, 1915, when they embarked for France. On June 21, 1916, the No. 5 Canadian Field Ambulance was attached to the Sherwood Foresters,5 otherwise known as the 2nd Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Regiment, which had been in France since September 1914.6

    Pte. Grindley was killed in action on September 17, 1916, during the Battle of the Somme in the area around Warloy-Baillon, France.7 He was posthumously awarded the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal, and the Victory Medal for his service.8 The war diary for the No. 5 Field Ambulance for September 18 states: “Transfer papers came in for Pte. Grindley killed yesterday to proceed to England for Officer’s Training Course.”9 His death was mourned by the city of Owen Sound who knew him as “a young man of sterling character and unusual promise.”10

    George Grindley is commemorated on the Vimy Memorial in France, one of over 11 000 Canadians killed in France during the First World War with no known grave.

1. "Grindley, George Henry," RG 150, Accession 1992-93/166, Box 760-46, Soldiers of the First World War: 1914-1918, Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa.

2.  "Pte. G.H. Grindley Killed in Action," The Sun Times (Owen Sound, ON), September 1916.

3.  "Pte. G.H. Grindley Killed,"

4. "Grindley, George Henry."

5. "Grindley, George Henry."

6. "Unit History: Sherwood Foresters (Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Regiment)," Forces War Records, last modified 2016, accessed June 13, 2016,

7.  "Circumstances of Casualty: Private George H. Grindley," Circumstances of Death Registers, First World War, Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa.

8. "Grindley, George Henry."

9.  "War Diaries - No. 5 Canadian Field Ambulance," War Diaries of the First World War, Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa.

10.  "Pte. G.H. Grindley Killed,"