George William Irons

Rank Private
Service No 15975
Date of Death 16/02/1916
Age 23
Regiment/Service Dorsetshire Regiment, 2nd Battalion
Memorial Basra Memorial in Iraq. This commemorates more than 40,500 members of Commonwealth forces who died in operations in Mesopotamia from 1914 to 1921 and whose graves are not known. 

George William Irons was born in 1893 in Finchley to George Irons (b. 1866), a gardener, and his wife, Elizabeth (b. 1864). He had three siblings, John (b.1891), Hilda (b.1899) and Arthur (b.1901). In 1911, George was employed as a Baker’s Assistant and living with his parents at 20 Gruneisen Road, opposite the entrance to Victoria Park. 

George enlisted in Holloway. He was killed in action in Iraq, while serving in General Townsend's forces. At the outbreak of war, the Dorsets were serving in India. They were deployed to the Gulf, following Turkey's entry into the war, to protect oil supplies. They landed at Fao on 6th November 1914, reaching Basra on 23rd November. On 3rd March and 14th April 1915 they fought in major actions at Shaiba (ancient Sheba), showing great resilience. They were part of the forces that took Kut on 28th September and advanced to Ctesiphone on 21st November. However, due to their depleted state, they then withdrew back to Kut, where they were besieged by mounting Turkish forces, finally surrending on 28th April 1916.