Pte/Lance corporal George Mason Ferrand 15/325 MID
Born Leeds 1895
Killed in action France 3rd of may 1917
George Mason Ferrand was one of seven brothers Born to Sam and Amy Ferrand of 9, Brudenell avenue, Hyde Park Leeds, he was working as an accounts clerk when he Enlisted on the 4th of September 1914, serving with number 14 platoon of D company at Colsterdale Egypt and France.
During the battle of the Somme which he survived un injured he was serving as a number 2 machine gunner with one of the Pals Lewis gun teams, it was with this machine gun team that he gained is lance corporals stripe, this was during the enemies attack on the Pals positions on the 20th of August 1916, the front line by this time was a series of posts rather than a continues line of fully manned trenches.
The War Diary states: The German attack began by laying down a very heavy box barrage, as it lifted they attempted to over run the trenches, they reached the parapet of the Pals trenches and were only prevented from entering them by the skill full use of a single Lewis gun operated by a Corporal and is assistant.
Memoir of 15/711 L/Cpl Arthur Pearson,
It was just after evening stand down, I had just come of sentry duty and was sitting on a sandbag reading a Yorkshire Post someone had received from home, when ‘ Hell fire’ broke out. I dropped the paper , grabbed my rifle and rushed into the trench to see that Jerry was ringing each island with a box barrage that a mouse couldn’t get through. Then the shelling suddenly stopped then his raiding troops came up the lanes the shells had dug, and up to our parapet, but as they climbed over our sandbags, our Lewis gun Corporal who had taken up a position down the trench with his No 2 ( Ferrand) mowed them down like ninepins, our Lewis Corporal smashed that raid of Jerry’s, not a single German penetrated our lines.
George Mason Ferrand was killed in action at Gavrelle nine months later on the 3rd of May 1917 during the opening phase of the battle of Arras, this was the first day the Pals were involved in the battle.
His posthumous mention in despatches awarded for his action on the 3rd of May 1917 was published in the London Gazette of may 22nd 1917.
George mason Ferrand has no known grave so is commemorated on the Arras memorial, France.
Georges Older brother Willie served with the West Yorkshire regiment and although wounded, survived the war.