Monday, October 5, 2015

MILITARY MONDAY–Killed in Action–A Tribute to George Briggs Fitzcharles 1886-1918

FITZCHARLES_Private George_photo_Roll of Honour book

George Briggs Fitzcharles is my 1st cousin twice removed.  That makes him a nephew to my great grandmother, Elizabeth “Bessie” Fitzcharles.

First let me tell you how excited I am to be able to write anything about the Fitzcharles family.  My great grandmother’s parents remained a mystery aka brick wall to me, until 3 years ago.  Now I take the time to learn everything I can about this Scottish family.

George was the son of Michael Fitzcharles and Euphemia Anderson who were married on 14 Feb 1879 in St. Clement, Dundee, Angus, Scotland.  To this couple were born the following children:
John born 9 Sep 1879
Robert Nicholas born 1 May 1881
William born 1 Dec 1883
George Briggs born 26 Apr 1886
Ernest born 24 Oct 1888
Maggie or Margaret (the only girl) born 1 Jun 1891
David born 6 Jun 1896

George married Isabella Jane Hutton on 2 Aug 1909 in Dundee, Angus, Scotland.

FITZCHARLES_George B marriage to Isabella Jane HUTTON_2 Aug 1909_DundeeScotland_annot

They had their first child, a daughter, Euphemia, born 12 Feb 1910. 

George was working as a Brakeman for the railroad in the 1911 census, living in Grangemouth, Stirling, Scotland.

1911_Scotland_FITZCHARLES_George & wife Bella w-daughter_Grangemouth_Scotland_enh

A son, George, was born to this couple on 5 Jan 1913.

Historical events effect our lives today as they did back then.  In 1914 the “Great War” or World War I began.  You can watch a short video about it here 
In 1915 George was working as a furniture salesman in his father’s business.  On 4 Jun 1915 he enlisted in the 1st Royal Scots.  Here are his attestation and descriptive papers upon enlistment
FITZCHARLES_George_Attestation of Service_WW I_1st Royal Scots_Jun 1915 FITZCHARLES_George_Descriptive report upon enlistment_WW I_1st Royal Scots
FITZCHARLES_George_Medical history_WW I_stay at hospital Jul-Aug 1915Just a little over a month after his enlistment, George was admitted to the hospital for “Intesinal disorder” and what I read to be ptomaine ? (could it be ptomaine poisoning?)  He appears to have been admitted on July 7, 1915 and discharged on August 7, 1915.  And then transferred to Cramour House Convalescent Hospital from August 7, 1915 to August 28, 1915.

On September 13, 1915,  George was admitted to the hospital a second time for a concussion of his spine.  He stayed in the Kitchener Hospital in Brighton for 5 days.  Upon which he was transferred to a military convalescent hospital.

FITZCHARLES_George_hospital admission for concussion of spine_Sep 1916

According to the book Roll of Honour, Arbroath and District 1914-1919, page 167, printed and published by T. Buncle & Co, Market Place, Arbroath, Scotland in 1921.

 Private George Fitzcharles was killed in action on March 27, 1918.  He was 31 years old.

“Private George Fitzcharles, 3rd Royal Scots, 33 Park Street, Arbroath, was the son of Michael Fitzcharles, Guthrie Port. He was thirty-two years of age, had married Isabella Hutton and left a son and a daughter. He was a furniture dealer with his father when he joined the army in July 1915. He went to France in October, and was invalided home the following year suffering from shell shock and wounds. In 1917 he returned to France, was slightly wounded several times, and was killed in action on the 27th of March 1918. His platoon officer wrote of him : - ' ' He was a good soldier.  We feel his loss very much."
FITZCHARLES_Private George_bio sketch_Roll of Honour book_enlarged

I have located several references to George having been killed in action during his service, including pension papers, references in books and on war memorials and correspondence with his widow, Isabella.

He is honored on the Grangemouth War Memorial in Zetland Park, situated in the center of Grangemouth.  Here is George’s name on the memorial:

FITZCHARLES_George_name on Grangemouth memorial_annotated

He is also honored on the Pozieres Memorial in France.  Here is an index page for that memorial, showing his name.

FITZCHARLES_George_Index to Pozieres Memorial honoring UK soldiers WW I_annot
George was a young man with his whole life ahead of him.  He left behind a wife and two young children.
I located a death certificate for his widow, Isabella, and it appears she never remarried.  She is still using the surname Fitzcharles and is listed as the “widow of Private George Fitzcharles.”  She died on February 14, 1955, age 68.

Here is the post I wrote about breaking down the Fitzcharles brick wall.  Click here

PLEASE contact me if you think you might be related, even remotely, to anyone mentioned in this blog.


Happy hunting,
Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2015   Diane Gould Hall


  1. How fun to go from not knowing anything to knowing so much! I always am amazed when people tell me that their genealogy is "done." How can that be? For most of us, there is always so much more to find.

    1. Michelle,
      It's absolutely been fun finding all of this information. Many "genie dances" here in my office :)
      I too don't understand anyone's genealogy being finished. I have a couple of friends who say that. They are just done working on it, is what that really means.
      Thanks for leaving a comment, I always enjoy hearing from you.

  2. You have some great documentation and history there, especially considering the brick wall only three years ago! I hope I can find the time to dig into my Scottish roots soon.

    1. Anna - It's pretty amazing to me too. Every time I break down a wall, I get renewed hope for all the other brick walls in my tree. Scottish records are pretty darn good, in my opinion. The Scotland's People website is very helpful and reasonably priced. I wrote a post about that site, so check it out if you decide to jump in.
      Thanks for stopping by.

  3. Dundee Courier 11 April 1918 has the announcement of his death. found in Find my past using address 33 Park Street Arbroath

    1. Thank you very much. I will go take a look at it now.
      Thanks for stopping by.

  4. Hi There, my name is David Fitzcharles. As I understand it George Fitzcharles had five brothers and one sister

    One of his brothers, David went to South Africa. He married, and had two sons (David and Robert) and a daughter, if I'm not mistaken. The short version is, that Robert had three son's Rodney; Robert; Leon and a daughter Ella. Rondney the oldest was my father. I am sending you a link of the information I have on our family tree on

    It would be wonderful to touch base and compare notes. My personal email address is

    Kind Regards

    1. David - Thank you for contacting me. I'm taking a look at the links now. Always welcome new contact with cousins. It took me for darn near ever to break through my great grandmother's brick wall and learn who her parents and family were.
      I'll be in touch.

  5. Apologies, forgot to post the link to my family tree:

    1. I took a look at your tree. I think I have information that can assist you, as far as the Fitzcharles family. I will use your email address and invite you to my private tree.


I look forward to reading your comments. If you have any connection to the people mentioned in this blog, please let me know. I write about mine and my husband's ancestors and would welcome new information or meeting a new cousin or two. Thanks for visiting and come back soon.