Lives Lived and Lives Lost - Portsmouth and the Great War

The Stallards were long-standing inhabitants of Portsmouth, there being several branches of the family living in the Borough throughout the 19th Century. That from which George William descended is first recorded in the census of 1841 when his great-grandparents James and Elizabeth Stallard were living at Stamshaw Brick Yard.
Both James and Elizabeth (nee Collins) were born at Portsmouth in 1812 and they were married at St. Mary's Church in 1837. The 1841 census also records that James was working as a brick burner (a trade common to a number of other Stallard families) and that he and Elizabeth had three children, Mary Jane, James jnr. and John. Ten years later they were still in Stamshaw and had three more children, Hannah, Elizabeth and William. All the children were born in Portsmouth apart from James jnr. who was born in Portchester. They do not appear in the 1861 census.
Of the six children it was James jnr. who would become George William Stallard's grandfather. The 1871 census shows James living at 56 Chalton Street with his wife Eliza and five sons, Henry, James, William, George and Charles, all born between 1863 and 1871. Ten years later in 1881 the family was living at 18 Wells Street which ran between Commercial Road and Crasswell Street. Four of the boys were not at home but George was there with a seven year old sister Amelia.
George married Ellen Jane Taylor, from Plymouth, in 1888 and they set up home a few doors from his parents at 34 Wells Street. In 1891 Ellen gave birth to George William Stallard and he was followed three years later by his brother Alfred. The 1901 census shows George William and Alfred living with their grandparents James and Elizabeth at 1 Dawson's Place. There is no record of George and Ellen Jane at either the 1901 or 1911 census, in fact the whole family is missing from the latter.
When the Great War broke out in 1914 George William was 23 years of age and may well have enlisted at the outset though the reasons for him joining the Royal Warwickshire Regiment are obscure. All that is known of his military career was that the 9th Battalion was formed at Warwick in 1914, was posted to Gallipoli in July 1915, Egypt in January 1916 and Mesopotamia in February 1916. It was there that George William lost his life.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) list Private GW Stallard (12594), 9th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment, died 23/04/1916. Buried at the Basra War Cemetery (Grave Ref: VI.H.12.).
George Stallard is commemorated on the Cenotaph. He is not listed in "The National Roll of the Great War", Section X.
There is no record of the marriage between James jnr. and Eliza in Portsea but there is one for a marriage between James Stallard and Eliza Elizabeth Lawrence at Upton on Severn in 1859. As James was living in Portsmouth and Eliza came from Chichester it's not obvious why they should be in Worcestershire to get married. One reason to suggest this might be the correct record is that Eliza was also known as Elizabeth in some census returns.
The name 'George Stallard' also appears on the WW1 Memorial at Trinity Methodist Church on Albert Road, Southsea, but there are two persons of that name from Portsmouth who died in WW1 and it's not known to which the memorial refers. Neither lived close to the church.
Tim Backhouse
September 2014