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Monk, George Bertram Fifield

Monk, George Bertram Fifield, 2nd Lieut., 2nd Battn. Royal Warwickshire Regt., youngest son of Dr. Charles James Monk, of 13 Harley Street, W. and 3 Linnell Close, Hampstead Garden Suburb, N.W., Surgeon Dentist; born Wiesbaden, Germany, 15 Sept. 1891; educated St. George's, Harpenden, Herts; Michigan University, U.S.A., and Guy's Hospital, London, and was a Medical Student. He had joined the 28th Battn. (Artists' Rifles) London Regt., in Jan. 1914; volunteered for foreign service and went to France with them, 27 Oct. 1914, and was gazetted 2nd Lieut. to the 2nd Warwicks (7th Division, 4th Corps), 11 Nov. 1914. He was killed in action in an attack on the enemy's trenches near Armentieres on 18 Dec. following, unmarried. Capt. I. H. G. White wrote: "Your son died a very gallant death. He was found, together with four other officers and 34 men within a few yards of a German machine gun, and it was obvious that he was one of a party that had made an extraordinary gallant effort to capture the gun and prevent it killing their comrades who were coming up behind. We buried him the next morning on the spot on which he fell": and an officer of the 22nd Queen's: "On the 18th a general attack was ordered on the German position with a view to keeping the attention of the enemy fixed while important operations took place elsewhere. I was on duty in the trenches when the attacking party went out. Bertram went up the scaling ladder with a smile on his face. The moment the enemy's fire broke out it was clear that no one could live in such a storm. Our men were assailed with a torrent of rifle bullets, machine-gun fire and hand grenades. The bravest might have blenched before this awful ordeal. As the fire died down the wounded began to crawl back to our lines; our patrols devotedly went out helping them in. as the night wore on and I saw nothing of the officers of your son's regt., I began to fear that he was amongst the killed or was lying too badly wounded to come in. At daybreak the Germans made signs to us to come over and pick up our wounded. I went out; after a long search I found your brave son just where I should have expected. He was lying dead within 30 yards of the German trenches, halfway across the wire entanglements, his right hand out-stretched as though pointing the way to his men. Death must have been instantaneous, for his head was pierced by two bullets from the machine gun. He was buried between the English and German trenches with his comrades. On Christmas Day we had another armistice to finish clearing the ground, and a funeral service was held, attended by a large gathering of German and English officers. It was a strange and impressive sight." Capt. Bare, Artists' Rifles, also wrote; "The following is an extract from a letter written by the Divisional General to our Colonel: "2nd Lieut. G. B. Monk was killed right on the enemy's wire entanglement, well in front of his battn. And opposite a machine-gun position. While deeply deploring the loss of these most promising young officers, it must be satisfactory for you to know that they gloriously upheld the traditions of your regt. ....." The Colonel has ordered the General's letter to be read to all the men in the regt., and we are proud to remember that your son belonged to C. Coy. and to know that he could not have died a finer death." Lieut. Monk was a fine athlete, he represented his school at cricket and Rugby football and was in the Guy's Hospital Rugby football team. A poem was written in 2nd Lieut. Monk's honour by Canon Rawnsley and published in a book entitled "European War, 1914-1915. De Ruvigny's Roll of Honour

Second Lieutenant G. B. Monk, Royal Warwickshire Regiment, has been killed in action. Born in 1891, George Bernard Monk entered Guy’s in October, 1913, as a Medical and Second Year Dental Student, having passed in June, 1913, the examination for the D.D.S. of Michigan University. At the time of enlisting he was studying Anatomy of Physiology. Guy’s Hospital Gazette 2 Jan, 1915

 

Biographical

Surname(s)Monk
First name(s)George Bertram Fifield
Date of birth15 September 1891
Place of birthWiesbaden, Germany
Family detailsSon of Charles J Monk, of 3, Linnell Close, Hampstead Garden Suburb, London
Previous educationSt. George's Harpenden; University of Michigan, Dental Dept.
CollegeGuy's Hospital
Dates at college1913-1914
Dept / courseL.D.S. (second year)
QualificationsD.D.S. (Mich), June 1913
Military unitRoyal Warwickshire Regiment, 2nd Bn.
Date enlistedEarly 1914 (Artists' Rifles)
War / conflictWorld War One (1914-1918)
Date of death18 December 1914
Age at death23
Rank at deathSecond Lieutenant
Cause of deathKilled in action leading an attack
Commemoration(s)Ploegsteert Memorial, Belgium
SourcesCommonwealth War Graves Commission; Soldiers Died in the Great War; De Ruvigny's Roll of Honour

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