Bonner, George James (No. 8509)

Bonner, George James (George)

Rifleman

No. 8509, 1st Battalion, Rifle Brigade (The Prince Consort’s Own)

Died of wounds on Saturday 15 May 1915 (aged 32)

Buried:

Le Treport Military Cemetery, France (Plot 2 Row D Grave 3)

Commemorated:

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Holywood and District War Memorial (where his initials are inscribed as G.F.)

Holywood Parish Church of Ireland Church (St Philip & St James)

Holywood Masonic Hall

Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club

BIOGRAPHY

George James Bonner was born around September/October 1882 in Birmingham.

In the 1911 census return he declared his age to be 28 years 5 months and, that, on the night of Sunday 2 April 1911 he was living in Irish Street, Downpatrick.

George James Bonner was a well-known figure in Downpatrick where for a time he worked as Club Steward at the Country Club.

George James Bonner and Sarah Jane Herron were married on 21 August 1911 in Holywood Parish Church of Ireland Church.  George James Bonner (aged 29) from the Country Club, Downpatrick was a son of George William Bonner, a clerk.  Sarah Jane Herron (aged 24) from Shore Street, Holywood was a daughter of Robert Herron, a gardener.

George and Sarah Jane Bonner (nee Herron, sometimes Heron) had three children:

George Robert (born 25 June 1912 in Shore Street, Holywood)

Annie Hinchcliffe (born 8 February 1914 in Shore Street, Holywood)

Albert French (born 25 January 1915 at 22 High Street, Holywood, at which time his father was in France serving with the Rifle Brigade)

Before the war, George Bonner worked as Club Steward in the North of Ireland Yacht Club at Cultra.

He was a member of Masonic Lodge 403 in Holywood and a member of the Orange Order.

Prior to the outbreak of the Great War, George Bonner was Drill Instructor for the Holywood contingent of the Ulster Volunteer Force.

George Bonner was an accomplished singer and appeared in many local amateur theatrical productions.

George Bonner enlisted in London and he served with the Rifle Brigade.

It was reported in the Press that Rifleman George Bonner (No. 8509) was commended for distinguished conduct in the field.

Rifleman George Bonner (No. 8509) was 32 when he died of wounds in hospital at Treport on 15 May 1915 and was buried in Le Treport Military Cemetery in France.

Rifleman George Bonner (No. 8509) is commemorated on Holywood and District War Memorial; in Holywood Parish Church of Ireland Church (St Philip & St James); in Holywood Masonic Hall and in the Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club at Cultra.