George Kirk was born on 6th April and baptised on 9 June 1884 at Park Green United Methodist Free Chapel, the son of Mary and Thomas Kirk, a cattle dealer of 22 Brook St, Macclesfield.
In 1891, six year old George was living at 56 Black Rd, Macclesfield, with his parents and brothers James (5) and Thomas (4). By 1901 the family had moved to numbers 102-104 Black Road, and included another boy, Harold, aged 8; the family was at the same address in 1911 and all four boys were listed as assistants to their father.
George attested on 18 February 1916 and was mobilised on 17 May 1916. After training at Gosport and Plymouth, Gunner Kirk was drafted overseas in September 1916.
Gunner Kirk's was killed in action on 20 June 1917; his death was reported in the Macclesfield Times one week later:
HIS LIFE FOR HIS COUNTRY: GUNNER KIRK KILLED BY A SHELL
Mr T Kirk, cattle dealer, Black Road, Macclesfield, has received a communication from the Rev H A Norton, Chaplain to the Forces, stating that his son, Gunner George Kirk, of the Royal Garrison Artillery, has been killed in action in France... "During yesterday morning the enemy heavily shelled his battery position, and the explosion of the first shell caused the death of your boy, together with that of a comrade. We laid them to rest in a cemetery a little distance away..."
A native of Macclesfield, Gunner Kirk was 33 years of age and unmarried. He was educated at St Paul's Day School and before enlisting he assisted in his father's business. The gunner responded to the call of King and Country on May 17th 1916, and after being stationed at Gosport and Plymouth was drafted out to France about nine months ago.
Two brothers are serving with the Army: Private Harold Kirk, Liverpool Scottish and Private James Kirk, South Lancs Regt. The former is 22 years of age and has been at the front over twelve months. Private James has seen some five or six months active service in France; he is 30 years of age.
Gunner George Kirk is buried in Grave Ref. VI. D. 6. of the La Plus Douve Farm Cemetery near Ypres, Belgium. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission holds casualty details for Gunner George Kirk, and he is listed on the Imperial War Museum’s Lives of the First World War website.
In Macclesfield, Gunner George Kirk is commemorated on the Park Green, Town Hall and St Michael's Church war memorials.
Brother of Harold Kirk, who served with the Liverpool Scottish Regiment; and James Kirk, who served with the South Lancashire Regiment.
GRO (England & Wales) Index: Births
Macclesfield Park Green United Methodist Free Chapel Baptism Register
Census (England & Wales): 1891, 1901, 1911
Commonwealth War Graves Commission website
Macclesfield Times: 27 June 1917
Research by Rosie Rowley, Macclesfield.