Henderson, George York

Henderson, George York (George)

Military Cross

Lieutenant

10th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles

Killed in action on Thursday 22 November 1917 (aged 24)

No known grave

Commemorated:

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Cambrai Memorial, Louverval, France (Panel 10)

Royal Belfast Golf Club, Craigavad

BIOGRAPHY

George York Henderson was born on 12 May 1893 in Oakley House, Windsor Park, Belfast and he was a son of Sir James Henderson DL and Lady Martha Anne Henderson (nee Pollock) of Oakley House, 36 Windsor Park, Belfast.  Sir James Henderson, a barrister, was proprietor of the Belfast News Letter newspaper.

Sir James Henderson was a Deputy Lieutenant, a Magistrate, a Belfast Alderman and Lord Mayor of Belfast in 1898.

James Henderson and Martha Ann Pollock were married around 1880/1881 and they had six children:

David (born around 1881/1882 in England)

James (born 16 February 1889 at 48 Ulsterville Avenue, Belfast)

Oscar (born 7 October 1891 in Oakley House, Windsor Park, Belfast)

George York (born 12 May 1893 in Oakley House, Windsor Park, Belfast)

Richard Lilburn (born 10 January 1895 in Oakley House, Windsor Park, Belfast)

May Agnes Florence Elizabeth (born 8 May 1899 in Oakley House, Windsor Park, Belfast)

During the Great War, George Henderson’s brother, Captain Richard Henderson, survived active service with the 1st Battalion Royal Irish Rifles.

Sir James Henderson died on 1 May 1914 (aged 66) and he was buried in Belfast City Cemetery (Grave M 948).  Lady Martha Ann Henderson died on 5 June 1942 (aged 83) and was buried alongside her late husband.

George York Henderson was gazetted to the Army Service Corps and later appointed Adjutant of the Ulster Divisional Train.  He accompanied the Division to France with the rank of Captain. Captain Henderson subsequently transferred voluntarily to the infantry and in March 1916 was gazetted to a Battalion of the Royal Irish Rifles. He was wounded in 1916 during the Battle of the Somme.

In June 1917 during the victorious attack on the Messines-Wytschaete ridge he was awarded the Military Cross for conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty in commanding his company after his commander had been killed. He personally knocked out one machine gun with rifle grenades and showed great ability in restoring the direction for his Battalion when the landmarks were obliterated.

Lieutenant George York Henderson MC was 24 when he was killed in action on 22 November 1917 during the Ulster Division advance in the region of Cambrai.  He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Cambrai Memorial.  Lieutenant George York Henderson MC is also commemorated on the Memorial Plaque in Royal Belfast Golf Club, Craigavad.