Lives Lived and Lives Lost - Portsmouth and the Great War

The 1911 census recorded George Storry and the rest of the Aitken family living at 165 Fratton Road. This was the first census since they had crossed the water from Gosport where they had lived for the previous quarter century. There is very little other documentary evidence to connect the family to Portsmouth.
George's father Andrew Storry Aitken had been born at Wishaw in Lanarkshire, Scotland in 1862. He joined the Royal Marine Light Infantry after leaving school and at some point in the 1880s he must have been at Forton Barracks in Gosport. He was certainly in the town by 1886 as that was when he married Ellen Edwards and settled down. Their first son Andrew John was born in 1889 and he was followed by James (1890), Ellen (1891), George Storry (1892), William Storry (1895) and Sarah (1901).
It's not known exactly when Andrew Storry left the RMLI but he was still serving with them in 1901. Whenever he did leave he made a rather curious career change and became a dispenser at a doctor's (surgery). It was presumably the offer of a job in Portsmouth that brought the family across the water.
In the 1911 census George Storry was described as an assistant butcher but he would have given this up after the outbreak of the Great War when he enlisted in the Royal Garrison Artillery. Little else is known of his life and though the CWGC record states he was married to Ellen Aitken no documentary evidence for this has been found. He died aged 24 years on 5th October 1916, nearly two years after his brother William Storry Aitken had lost his life on board HMS Bulwark.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) list GS Aitken, Gunner (1243), Royal Garrison Artillery, died 05/10/1916. Buried at Longueval Road Cemetery (Grave Ref: B.11.). Son of Andrew S. Aitken, of 154, Francis Avenue, Southsea, Portsmouth; husband of Ellen Aitken, of Portsmouth.
George Aitken is commemorated on the Cenotaph, in Guildhall Square, Portsmouth. He is not listed in "The National Roll of the Great War", Section X.
Tim Backhouse
December 2014