George Bonning | Thorney Cottages | Parish of Kingsbury Episcopi

George T Bonning

The forgotten soldier Naval medal Thorney Cottages

Rank, service number and regiment

Stoker 2nd Class K/38613 Royal Navy


14th December 1916

Home address

Thorney Cottages,
Thorney Road,
Kingsbury Episcopi.

The 1911 census pinpoints his home near to Thorney Mill and the old Rising Sun Inn.

Thorney Cottages was confirmed in 2017 by Carol Sills, a living relative.

Date of death

20th January 1917 - Died from pneumonia

Age of death

29 years

Circumstances of death

George had enlisted in the Royal Navy on 14 December 1916.

He was on the shore-training establishment HMS Vivid II, Devonport.

George succumbed to pneumonia and was taken to the Royal Naval Hospital, Stonehouse, Plymouth where he died on 20 January 1917.

Where buried

Kingsbury Episcopi Burial Ground (Official War Grave)

Date of birth & full name

8 August 1887 at Thorney. GEORGE THOMAS BONNING


1911 – Carter at Withy Factory


James Bonning 1862 – 1937 withy/willow stripper and Elizabeth Bonning (nee Dimmick) 1865 – 1910 a kid-glove machinist at home.

They married on 22 August 1882.

Spouse & children

George married Olive Harvey of Kingsbury Episcopi in 1909. Olive was a glover working at home.

They had a daughter Lilian Gwendoline Bonning born 1910.


George was ready to take part in a theatre of war but died after con-tracting pneumonia during training.

He therefore was awarded the British War Medal only.

According to his service record his conduct was ‘very good’.

Other information

George was 5’ and ½” tall with a chest expansion of 39”. He had black hair, hazel eyes and a fresh complexion. His daughter – Lilian Gwendoline Bonning – married Edward G Reed in 1930. Their children: Alec G Reed b.1932 and Vernon B Reed b.1934. His parents James and Elizabeth Bonning had 9 children. We have names for seven of them: Lilian b.1883 – d ?
Frederick Henry b.1885 – d.1968
George b.1887 – d.1917
Eliza b.1888 – d ?
Harriet Beatrice b.1891 – d.1923
Ellen Louise b.1894 – d.1972
Harry (Henry) b.1897 – d.1926 Harry (Henry) Bonning also served in WW1. He survived the war, but died in 1926 aged 29 yrs. His photo is shown below.

George Thomas Bonning - World War 1