Today we pay our respects to Lance Corporal George Lunn who died 100 years ago today, 11th December 1917 and served with the Lincolnshire Regiment.
George was born in Dyke in 1882, the son of John Lunn and his wife Elizabeth Allen. John Lunn was working as a traction engine driver in Dyke in 1911 and at this time George was working as a mineral water packer at Mills and Co Mineral Water Works (Mills and Baxter) in Bourne.
George enlisted into the Lincolnshire Regiment in Bourne around the spring of 1915 and after training was posted to the 1/5th Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment.
In April 1917 George was invalided home with septic poisoning and he then spent 5 months in hospital in Manchester.
Whilst still in hospital the London Gazette of the 14th September 1917 carried the following report:-
His Majesty the KING- has been graciously pleased to award the Military Medal for bravery in the Field to the undermentioned Ladies, Non-Commissioned Officers and Men :-
241750 L./C. G. R. Lunn, Linc. R. (Callick).
After being released from hospital George visited Bourne briefly before being called to Lincoln and then posted to the 4th battalion Lincolnshire Regiment at their East Coast Camp as a musketry instructor. He arrived at the camp and later that night was involved in an accidental shooting, being shot in the chest and later died en route to hospital.
Lincolnshire Echo 14th December 1917
Fatal Rifle Accident – Lance Corporal George Robert Lunn of the Lincolnshire whose home is at 108 Birkin Avenue, Hyson Green, Nottingham has been fatally shot at a camp on the Lincolnshire Coast. Whilst Lunn was standing in the hut talking with the another soldier, Private Bartram Sissons picked up a rifle from the rack and was examining it, when the weapon went off. The bullet struck Lunn who died on the way to hospital. Lunn and Sissons have served together for more than a year in France, and were on good terms.
Grantham Journal 15th December 1917
Memorial Service – On Sunday evening, the Reverend J. Carvath conducted a memorial service for the late Lance Corporal George Lunn at Bourne Congregational Church at which the deceased was a regular worshiper before he left Bourne to join the army. The Rev. Gentleman took for his text of words “I am the resurrection and the light” and pointed out that when Christ spoke these words. He did so to comfort Martha and Mary and they had been a comfort to the bereaved ever since, as he trusted they would be to those who mourned for their departed friend that night.
Military Funeral – On Saturday afternoon a military funeral at Bourne Cemetery attracted a large assembly. The burial was that of Lance Corporal George Lunn, who met his death under sudden circumstances on the previous Tuesday. Deceased had only just returned to camp, after having spent 5 months in hospital in Manchester. Corporal Lunn was with a number of others of the Regiment in the Non Comm hut when a discussion arose on musketry. A rifle was used to demonstrate an argument and on the trigger being pulled, to the dismay of all present, the rifle was found to have contained a live cartridge. Deceased was shot and succumbed to his injuries before arriving at hospital. At the inquest a verdict of accidental death was returned. The funeral was attended by Lieut C. F. E. Dean (representing the T.F. Reserve Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment). Sergeant-Major Garfoot, Sergeant Dolman (who had the funeral arrangements in hand, including the firing party), and Sergeant Drummer Leaning, conducting the bugle band. The cortege was met at Bourne station by the members of the family, including Mr John Lunn (Father), Miss Sergeant (Fiancee), Mr Tom Lunn (Brother), Miss Maude Lunn, Miss Hilda Lunn, Miss Muriel Lunn (Sisters), Mr and Mrs D. Drakard (Uncle and Aunt), Miss Allen (Aunt), Mrs T. Lunn (Sister in Law), Mrs J. Lunn (Step Mother). The service was conducted by the Rev J. Comyn Jones and the Rev J. Carvath. The firing party fired the three volleys. The bearers were six Lance-Corporals, five of whom were personal friends of the deceased. The last post was sounded by the bugle band. There were a number of floral tributes including those from his father; His Sister’s, Maud, Hilda and Muriel; Tom and Gertie; Mrs S. Pick; Mr and Mrs Fell and family; The officers of the Reserve Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment; The Warrant Officers and Sergeants Mess of the Lincolns. Deceased was well known at Bourne, having lived for many years in the town and was employed up to the time of his enlistment in Messrs R. N. Mills and Co’s Mineral water factory and was a packer, the employees of whom were represented at the funeral by Messrs H. Robinson, T. Teat, H. and A. Gilbert. Amongst others present were Messrs George Brown and W. H. Carter (Representing the Bourne Brotherhood) of which body deceased was a member and regular attendant). The Liberal Club (of which deceased was a member since its inception) was represented by Messrs W. Kelby, T. Mee and W. Nichols.