George Langford came to Chelmsford from Lancashire before the war. He worked for Essex County Council before joining the army and being sent to France. He was wounded during the Dunkirk evacuation, was brought back to England and died in Eastbourne. His home was in Dixon Avenue, Chelmsford.
George was born in Oldham, Lancashire in 1920, the son of George Langford and Florence Langford (nee Moores). He had an elder brother, Samuel Langford (1917-1979).
George worked as a clerk on the staff of Essex County Council's Public Assistance Department and was a tenor trombone player with the Salvation Army, joing the band in 1938.
In January 1939 George appeared before Chelmsford magistrates regarding a motoring offence. A Chelmsford newspaper reported:
"Two Learners on a Motor Cycle.—Samuel Langford, of Dixon Avenue, Chelmsford, was summoned as the holder of provisional licence for carrying on a motor cycle passenger who was not the holder of a driving licence, at Little Waltham on Dec. 3; and George Langford, his brother, same address, was summoned for aiding and abetting.
P .c. Wilson (Grays) said Samuel Langford, who held a provisional licence, was driving a motor cycle which had L signs, and George Langlord, who was a passenger, also held provisional licence.
George Langford said he had since passed his test, and as at the time of the offence he had applied for the test, he thought everything was in order. Defendants were each fined 7/6."
During the Second World War George served as Driver T/82476 in the Royal Army Service Corps. He went to France with the British Expeditionary Force and was wounded at Dunkirk. He died on 29th May 1940 in Sussex in an Eastbourne hospital. He was aged 20. At the time his parents lived at 14 Dixon Avenue in Chelmsford.
George's funeral, conducted by Major W. Price of the Salvation Army, was held on 5th June 1940 at Chelmsford Borough Cemetery (grave: 5757). His epitaph reads 'While he lives in peaceful sleep his memory we will always keep.'
A Chelmsford newspaper reported:
"Young Soldier's Death. The funeral took place with military honours on Wednesday of Driver George Langford the 20-year old son of Mr. and Mrs. G. Langford, of Dixon Avenue.
Driver Langford died in St. Mary's Hospital, Eastbourne, of wounds received while on active service with the R.A.S.C. Prior to leaving to join his unit he was a popular member of the staff of the Public Assistance Department ot the Essex County Council. He was member of the Chelmsford Salvation Army Band, being a gifted player of the trombone, and he was the first local Salvationist bandsman to proceed on active service and the first to give his life.
George LANGFORD, Driver, Royal Army Service Corps
Died in Eastbourne from wounds received at Dunkirk. Aged 20
The funeral service began at the Salvation Army Citadel, attended by military colleagues, many Salvationists, and others. Major Pryce conducted the service, assisted by Major Burns and Brigadier Simmons. The Salvation Arnty Band of 25 members, under Bandmaster Edward Jackson, accompanied the singing of the hymns, "Lead, kindly Light," "Rock of ages," and "Take the Name of Jesus with you."
A military escort to the Borough Cemetery was provided by a battalion of the Royal Artillery. At the graveside the "Last Post " was sounded. Ihe mourners were : Mr. and Mrs. George Langtord, father and mother-. Mr. Sam Langford, brother; Mr. and Mrs. Buxton, of Wallasey, brother-in-law and sister; Mr. and Mrs. Langford, uncle and aunt; Mr. J. Langford, of Wolstanton, and Mr. R. Laingford, ot Stoke-on-Trent, uncles."