The first of those to be killed in action was George Flack, Rifleman of 1st Battalion, Rifle Brigade, Prince Consort’s Own. He was a regular soldier, born in 1888 in the West Wickham area and living in Cherry Hinton when he enlisted. He was part of the British Expeditionary Force and the 1st Battalion moved from Colchester, where they were held in reserve, to Le Havre on 23rd August 1914. From here they were hurriedly moved to provide infantry reinforcements to the British and French armies retreat from Mons, and specifically for the Battle of Le Cateau, where George Flack was killed on 26th August 1914. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the La Ferté-sous-Jouarre Memorial to the Missing.
George married Emily Flack, daughter of John Flack on 10 May 1913 (he was the son of Elijah Flack) and their only child, Arthur John was born on 31 January 1914 and baptised on 1 March 1914, before George was sent to France and they were still living in Duxford. At his marriage his description has been altered to “Laborer” – probably from Soldier – and he is listed as living in St John’s Street – his wife’s address – presumably he lived in Barracks. In the 1911 census he was in Barracks with the 2nd Battalion. It is likely that he was born in West Wickham, where his parents were still living in 1911, at the Brick Yard.
Information on this page kindly contributed by Mr Tim Chudleigh and Mr Philip Wade