George Tougher joined the Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Regiment (Notts & Derby, Sherwood Foresters) on Monday 8th March, 1915 aged 21. Like most others who joined up, he was hoping to see something of the world and join in the war before it was all over – had he known what he was going to see and be faced with, I often wonder if he, or others like him would have been so hasty.
George joined the 2nd Battalion Sherwood foresters and saw action in Ypres moving through the year down the “Western Front” to the Somme. George was a small man by today’s standards, at 5 Ft 9in, but he made up for this in his many acts of bravery, two strips of Gold Braid awarded for Gallantry in the Field in January 1917 and ultimately being awarded the Military Medal the following May for great courage. (See further details in Citation)
Discharged on the 10th June 1918 after being wounded in the knee, he returned home to resume normal life working in the mines of Nottingham, and, like many others, decided to talk very little about the war or his acts of bravery. When he read of a Nottingham born Sgt, who him self won the military Medal in the Falklands for saving the life of a Chinese crewman, George contacted the paper to tell of his story in the Great War.
“The memories of my days in the trenches, and particular the Somme came back to me as I browsed through the story of Sgt X”
“He is one of the latest to receive this award. I was one of the first, because it was only introduced in 1916” Telling of his story to the reporter, George was clutching his medals proudly “We waded through trenches and thick mud to carry out the raid. It all went well and nobody was wounded. But our officer in charge got left behind and thinking he was hurt I decide to go back”
“He was a great friend and a very nice man. I never thought how much I was risking my life. There was an element of danger in everything we did out there. It just came as a matter of instinct that I turned round and went back”
George searched for 10 minutes without success – and owed his life and safe return to the battalion’s barracks to a grenade which he picked up.
“As I was looking for the officer, two Germans stood 15 yards away pointing rifles at me – and they were about to shoot. I ducked and threw the bomb and never heard a single shot”
The officer (2nd Lt’ Paterson) returned safely and was awarded the Military Cross.
Anzacs, Canadian & Australians. War tours can be arranged for you.
The tour of the battle grounds will be with a professional guide & will include Vimmy, the Somme, Verdun,
Ypres salient -also known as Leper and wipers - Thiepval, Albert, mailly maillet, serre,
Newfoundland, Sheffield, memorial park, ocean ville, ocean villa, Beaumont hammel, hawthorn ridge,
ulster tower, pozieres, lochnagar, locknagar, devil, delville wood, les bouefs, ancre. Visit Tommy or
tommies café, y ravine, the danger tree.
Flanders field museum, visit the trenches or the great war.
See hell fire corner, hill 60 and hill 62. Tyne cott and hooge crater with its museum all in an area called passchendale.
See the last post at the menin gate, go to plug street, toc house in poperinge then on to the firing post,
at which some of those shot at dawn were executed. Learn about what happened on July 1st 1916.
battles of 1914 – 1918. the front line will never seem the same. See a cemetery where Victoria cross holder is
commemorated. Stay on the somme in bed and breakfast with English speaking hosts.
accommodation in the French village of mailly-maillet chamber d’hotes hotel.
All travel details can be found on the web site. Motorcycle tours are available for all those with a motor bike,
in a club a group or individual. Tours can be for groups or clubs or individuals, if you have an interest in history
and the wars battle field experience is for you. details of accommodation, tourist information and how to get around with easy to use maps.