Lives Lived and Lives Lost - Portsmouth and the Great War

According to the 1851 census on Find My Past there were only 12 persons with the surname Lenanton in the whole of the UK, and all of them lived in Portsmouth. The same applied to 1861. What is perhaps more surprising is that none of them seem to have been related to George Charles Lenanton. For that we need to wait for the 1871 census when his widowed grandmother Sarah was recorded living at 3 Coburg Street, off Arundel Street, with her three children, Mary (22), Charles (17) and John (17).
Ten years later, Charles, then describing himself as a bricklayer, was living with his sister Mary and her husband at 3 Alpha Street, Southsea and in 1885 he married Ada Levett at Portsmouth. Their first child George Charles Lenanton (named "Charles George" on the birth record) was born at the end of 1887 and by 1891 the family were residing at 53 Stamford Street, just round the corner from Coburg Street.
The 1901 census shows the family at 37 Bishop Street, Landport and that four more boys had been born, William in 1892, Ernest and John in 1897 and Albert in 1899. During this period Charles had downgraded his employment, first to a general labourer and then to a Water Company Turncock/Labourer. George seemed destined to follow this trend as in 1911 he was reported as working as a brewer's labourer.
At the outbreak of the Great War George Charles was 22 years old and eligible to enlist. He may not have done so at the outset as when he did join up it was at Colchester, Essex where he was posted to the East Surrey Regiment. His battalion did not reach France until June 1916 when it took part in the later stages of the Battles of the Somme 1916, the Cambrai operations the following year and the first Battles of the Somme 1918. George Charles was wounded in April 1918 and transferred back to England for treatment. He died in England and was buried in Portsmouth.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) list George Charles Lenanton, Private (201680), 5th Battalion, East Surrey Regiment, died 18/04/1918. Buried at Kingston Cemetery, Portsmouth (Grave Ref: Timpson's.18.1.). Son of the late Charles and Ada Lenanton. Born at Portsmouth.
George Lenanton is remembered on the Cenotaph in Guildhall Square. He is not listed in the 'National Roll of the Great War' Section X.
Tim Backhouse
March 2015