13 October 2018
George Francis Haydon was born on 27 April 1891, the son of a Shrewsbury schoolmaster, W. D. Haydon. He attended Marlborough (College) and Shrewsbury School. He attended the Special Course at Harper Adams from 11 Oct 1909 to 19 Feb 1910 in preparation for a career in farming abroad.
He served from August 1914, to December 1915, as a trooper in Royal Canadian Dragoons, so may have achieved his aim to work in Canada. At the time of his death, age 25, on 18 August 1916 at the Somme he was with "C" Bty. 175th Bde., Royal Field Artillery.
He is remembered with honour at the Serre Road Cemetery No.2.
Cemetery/memorial reference: XXXVIII. G. 16.
Photograph of George Francis Haydon https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205300930
The grave of GF Haydon was one of those taken in from Contalmaison in September 1930. The exhumation report includes information used to identify him made on the basis of his officer’s uniform, Norwegian boots, R. A. collar badges and buttons and dental records. There was no ID tag. Other personal effects listed on the Burial Return were a field glass case marked ROBIN, cigarette case engraved F. H. May 2nd 1906, Compass, watch and fountain pen.
The associated documents may be seen here:
In the spring of 1917, the battlefields of the Somme and Ancre were cleared by V Corps and a number of new cemeteries were made, three of which are now named from the Serre Road.
Serre Road Cemetery No. 2 was begun in May 1917 and by the end of the war it contained approximately 475 graves. It was greatly enlarged after the Armistice by the addition of further graves from the surrounding area. There are now 7,127 Commonwealth burials of the First World War in the cemetery, mostly dating from 1916. Of these, 4,944 are unidentified.