George Charles Surridge was born and grew up in Chelmsford and became a postman like his father, having worked previously as a telegraph messenger. He married in Chelmsford in October 1915 and went on to have a son. Having joined the army George was killed in August 1918 in France. His home was in Roman Road. One of George’s brothers-in-law was also killed during the war.
George was born in Chelmsford in 1896, the son of another George Charles Surridge (a postman) and Alice Louisa Surridge (nee Stevens). His father had been born in 1870 in Springfield; his mother in 1864 in Chelmsford. George’s parents had married in 1896.
George’s siblings, seven siblings were William Surridge (1898-1965), Frank Surridge (1900-1924), Emily Surridge (1901-1970), Edward Surridge (1903-1903), Robert Arthur Surridge (1904-1970), Herbert Dick Surridge (1906-1966) and Maud Surridge (born in 1909).
The 1901 census recorded George, aged five resident at 13 Victoria Road, Chelmsford with his parents and two siblings. His father was a mounted rural postman, born at Springfield. George’s neighbour at number 14 was six year-old Edward Wallis who was also to lose his life in the War. The family was still at the same property at the next census in 1911, by then including seven surviving children. George was a telegraph messenger, while his father was still a postman, a profession that George later followed.
In December 1913 George was summoned to appear before Chelmsford’s magistrates. A local newspaper reported:
“Youthful Gamblers. Charles Barnard, Frank Brown, George Charles Surridge, and Edward Little, four lads, of Chelmsford, were summoned for gaming with cards in the Recreation Ground on Dec-14. Surridge did not appear; the other three pleaded guilty.
P.s. Wood said he was in plain clothes and saw the defendants in the shelter playing cards. There were two other young men there. One would get up and look out every few seconds. Witness got near the shelter and sprang in among them. They all bolted, leaving a pack of cards and 1s. 2d. money. Defendants came to see him on the Monday, saying they were very sorry, and hoped they would not be summoned, as they were in good employment, and did not wish lose it.
Insp. Flack said numerous complaints had been received about gaming with cards all over the town —in the Recreation Ground and in the Market —and he had tried to catch the players, but they had scouts out, and it was impossible for officer who was known to get near them.
On this occasion he received a complaint, and instructed P.s. Wood, who, exercising a little ingenuity, was able to get near them. Last time witness had to dress a drover to get near some players.
The Bench having consulted private, the Mayor said the Bench were anxious to stop this Sunday card-playing, but they did not wish to convict the lads, who would discharged in their own recognizances to be of good behaviour, and to placed under probation for six months. They would also have pay the costs, 1s. each. —The cards and money were ordered to be confiscated.”
SURRIDGE, GEORGE CHARLES,
Private, 7th Battalion, Border Regiment (formerly of the Essex Regiment)
On 2nd October 1915 George married Mabel Isabella Little at Chelmsford Cathedral. At the time George was postman of 1 Mill Road in Chelmsford. His bride, who had been born in Springfield 1890, was the 25 year-old daughter of the coalman William Little (deceased) of 4 Baddeley Square in Chelmsford.
Charles and Mabel had a son Cyril George Surridge (born on 22nd January 1916, died in 1971). Mabel’s brother, Walter Charles Little, who lost his life in the First World War is also commemorated by the Civic Centre Memorial, Chelmsford.
George enlisted at Chelmsford and served as 5936 in the Essex Regiment. He later transferred to the Border Regiment with a service number of 5683 and was killed in action on 3rd August 1918 while serving as Private 242029 in the 7th Battalion of the Border Regiment. He is buried at Harponville Communal Cemetery Extension, Somme in France (grave: G. 6).
On 16th August 1918 the Essex County Chronicle reported:
“Mrs. Surridge, of 6 Lower Roman Road, Chelmsford, on Wednesday received official intimation that her husband, Pt. G. S. Surridge, Border Regt., was killed in action in France on the 3rd inst. Prior to joining up, the deceased was a postman at Chelmsford. He was 21 years of age and leaves a little son.”
A week later the paper carried the following family announcement:
“Surridge. - Killed in action in France, on August 3, 1918 Pt. Geo. C. Surridge. Border Regt., the beloved husband of Mabel Isabella Surridge of 6 Lower Roman Rd., Chelmsford.”
George is commemorated on the Civic Centre Memorial, Chelmsford and by the Chelmsford Parish Great War Memorial in Chelmsford Cathedral. He is not commemorated by the Moulsham war memorial at St. John’s Church.
He was entitled to the Victory and British War medals.
The 1918 register of electors listed an absent George at 6 Roman Road, Chelmsford and his parents nearby at 14 Rochford Road, Chelmsford.
His mother died in 1930, aged 65.
George’s father was awarded the Imperial Service Medal after retiring from the postal service in April 1930. He had worked for the service for 38 years. He died in 1958, aged 88.
George’s widow died in 1962, aged 71. 6 Roman Road is now part of the site of a block of flats.