Rank: Private
Service Number: 331150.
Regiment: 15th Bn. Notts and Derby (Sherwood Foresters) Regiment Died of wounds Tuesday 27th November 1917 Age 30County Memorial Congleton

Born in 1888 in Chapel en le Frith, Derberyshire, his father is unknown, but he was the Stepson of Mr. Edward H. Flexney and Mrs. Elizabeth Flexney (nee Ardern) of 1a, South Street, Buxton, Derbyshire, Chapel Street, New Mills,Derbyshire and Back Bridge Street, New Mills, Derbyshire. He was the Husband of Mrs. Mary Emma Ardern (nee Pointon) of 1, St Albans Street, New Mills, Derbyshire and Bate Mill Row, New Mills, Derbyshire. They were married at St Peters Church, Congleton in 1907. She was born in Congleton and lived at 11, Milk Street, Congleton. He had a son, George, and a daughter Minnie. He had two sisters Harriet Ardern Flexney and Emily Ardern Flexney with two half-sisters Ellen Flexney and Jane Flexney and one brother, Charles Edward Ardern Flexney, who was killed at Ypres on Aug 9th 1915.

George was employed at Watford Bridge Print works as a Labourer. He was very fond of cycling and was often seen around the district. He volunteered along with many others at New Mills Town Hall in October 1914, but was not accepted on medical grounds. He continued to apply to enlist until due to extreme shortages of men at the end of the summer of 1917, he was accepted.

On the 1st of October, they moved by motor transport to Peronne, where they stayed until the 3rd of October. At midnight, they boarded the train for the XVII Corps area, and disembarked at Arras at 04 30 hours on the 4th, moving into billets at Warlus where they reorganised and rested for several days. On the 13th they boarded a train at Arras station at 00 45 hours disembarking at Cassel at 08. 30 hours and moved into billets at Arneke.

On the 15th they boarded a train at Arneke at noon, disembarking at Proven at 02 30 hours and moving into D4 Camp. At noon on the 16th they boarded a further train at Proven and disembarked at Elverdinge where they relieved the 1st Battalion the Scots Guards in the Rugby Camp. At 17 00 hours on the 20th they moved to Gouvy Farm near Boesinge and then moved into assembly positions on the 21st as support to the 105th Brigade who were to be part of a general attack on the 22nd Following the operations south of Houthulst on the 22nd, 1 Officer was killed, 1 was wounded and 1 was missing. Of the Other Ranks 15, were killed and 180 were missing. On the 24th the Battalion were relieved by the 19th Battalion of the Durham Light Infantry, and they moved to Larry Camp near Elverdinge where they remained for a rest and refit until the 29th. On this day, they relieved the 5th Battalion Border Regiment in the right sector of the Divisional Front. At 04 00 hours on the 30th they suffered very heavy artillery fire on ground immediately behind the front line. At 06 00 hours, snipers hit several of the enemy seen running about in the wood east of Marechal House. Casualties suffered that day were 1 Officer and 4 Other Ranks killed, and 1 Officer and 14 Other Ranks wounded. The 31st was quiet with occasional bursts of shellfire on Battalion H.Q. And from 16 30 hours, the enemy sent over constant streams of gas shells on the back areas. On the 1st of November, they were relieved by the Highland Light Infantry and suffered casualties from shell fire on tracks as they withdrew. They moved by train to Dykes Camp where they remained until the 5th when they moved to Proven, and into Paddington Camp. They remained here for several days and were visited by the Army Commander, Lieutenant General Plumer. On the 15th they moved to Brake Camp where they remained in Divisional Reserve for several days. The Major General of the Commanding Division presented medal ribbons on the 23rd and they relieved the 18th Battalion the Lancashire Fusiliers at the Brigade Support H.Q. and two other companies in Kempton Park, others in Varna House and Canal Bank, on the 24th. During this tour of operations, casualties were 12 Other Ranks wounded. The Battalion moved at night by train to Siege Camp where they remained for several days. George Ardern died of wounds received from a shell burst on the 26th of November 1917. He survived only eleven weeks from enlistment.

Cheshire County Memorial Project would like to thank John and Christopher Pullen for compiling this research on George.