George Whitlow was born on 2nd August 1896 in Runcorn registration district and baptised on 18th July 1897 at St Peter’s Church in Aston-by-Sutton. He was the son of George Whitlow (born Lymm) and his wife Agnes (nee Jones) who was born in Dutton.
Sadly, the father died on 15th July 1898, aged 31 years. He was the publican at the Red Lion on Chester Road in Preston Brook. George and Agnes had only been married eight years.
By 1901, Agnes was running the public house and she had three children: nine-year-old Dorothy, seven-year-old Gladys and four-year-old George. She was helped by a cousin, Elizabeth Roberts, who was a barmaid and there were also two servants, Alice Platt and Lily Prince.
In January 1906 Agnes married Samuel Whitlow, who had been born in Preston Brook and was the son of Henry Turner Whitlow who farmed at Manor House Farm in Preston on the Hill. Samuel had worked on the family farm, but by 1911 he was the publican at the Red Lion. He was ten years younger than Agnes. George was still at school, as was Gladys, whilst Dorothy was assisting in the family business. They also had a domestic servant, Nellie Speed, whose brothers Oswald and Fred would also serve in the Great War.
George had attended Daresbury School until September 1909, when he transferred to the Boteler Grammar School in Warrington. He left school in July 1912 and went to work in the draughtsman’s office at Pearson and Knowles Iron Company in Warrington.
When George enlisted he was an engineering apprentice. He was described as 5’10’’ tall, with auburn hair, grey eyes and a fresh complexion. He joined the Royal Navy and was given the service number M26279. From 24th May 1917 he was at Vivid 11 which was the accounting base at the Royal Navy barracks at Devonport. He was an E.R.A. which was an Engine Room Artificer. He became an Acting E.R.A. 1V throughout the following August. Then he served on HMS Lion which had been at the Battle of Jutland in 1916, but later in the war guarded interned ships at Scapa Flow on the Orkneys. George passed as an E.R.A. in July 1918 and worked at this until March 1919 when he was demobilized. He also had the service number E.R.A. 28124.
In March 1927 George travelled first class on the “City of Benares” which was sailing to Port Said on the way to Bombay, his declared intention being to live in India. He was still working as a draughtsman and his last address was Preston Brook. However by 1936 he was back in England and he married Doris Mary Butterworth, who had been born in the Runcorn area on 16th October 1899. They were married in Stockport in the summer of 1936.
The 1939 register showed that George and Doris were living at 48, Alt Lane in Limehurst, a rural district near Ashton-under-Lyne, Lancashire. George was the chief engineer in an iron and steel works. They had no children.
George’s mother Agnes died in 1940, five years after the death of her second husband Samuel. She had still been running the public house in Preston Brook.
George and Doris Whitlow retired to the Isle of Man, where he died in 1978 aged 81 years. Doris died in 1989 on the Isle of Man.