Corporal George Dibley


In the Lodge Temperance 2557 hand written Roll of Honour, at the rear of the minute book, is listed Corp George Dibley – Headquarters, 21st Infantry Brigade, 7th Division, G.H.2, B.E.F’s.

George first joined the army at the age of 18 years when he enlisted on the 19th December 1889 with the 3rd Battalion, Yorkshire Regiment. This only lasted for a couple of months and he was discharged on  the 30th January 1890 after payment of £10. We can only speculate why he bought himself out, but after only 5 months as a civilian,  on the 12th June 1890 he signed up for 12 years with the 2nd Dragoon Guards. The census shows that in 1891 he was a private, stationed at the Cavalry Depot Barracks near Canterbury in Kent and was visiting London in 1901. During his 12 years he served in India, Egypt and South Africa and was discharged after completing his 12 years, on the 10th October 1902.

At the outbreak of WW1, George was an insurance salesman and enlisted with the Military Mounted Police on 25th September 1914 at the age of 41. Within a month he was part of the British Expeditionary Force sent to France where he remained for almost a year before returning to England. He was discharged on the 21st May 1916 in consequence of no longer being physically fit for service. His records do not show his injury. During his service he rose to the rank of Sergeant but this only lasted a short while and he left the army as a Corporal.

He was the son of Joseph and Elizabeth Dibley (nee Crown).  They were married in Blackhill,  Co. Durham in 1873 and had at least eight children, including:

  • ·         George (b 25/10/1873)
  • ·         Mary C. (b 1876)
  • ·         Clement (b 1877)
  • ·         Margaret (b 1879)
  • ·         Edward (b 1881)
  • ·         Elizabeth (b 1883)
  • ·         Rachel (b 1885)
  • ·         Joseph (b 1886)

George married Elizabeth Dunn on 28th December 1904 in Consett, Co. Durham. There is no evidence in the GRO Birth Index that George and Elizabeth had any children.

In April 1911, George was living with his wife Elizabeth and mother-in-law Isabella Dunn at Alma House, Rose Mount, Consett, Co. Durham . Isabella is shown as the head of the household and George is working as a shearsmans helper.

George became a Freemason shortly after his discharge from the 2nd Dragoon Guards when he was initiated on 12th November 1902 into Union Waterloo Lodge No. 13 in Dartford, Kent. He was passed on 10th December and raised on 14th January 1903. He resigned on 14th June 1905 when he moved to Gateshead and was a joining member of Tynedale Lodge No 3067 on 2nd March 1905. He resigned on 5th March when he joined Lodge Temperance 2557. At the Lodge meeting of the 16th February 1914 Bro J. Cuthbert proposed and Bro William Cooper seconded George as a joining member from Tynedale Lodge 3067. He was a Clerk, aged 39 years living at Alma House, Rose Mount, Consett, Co. Durham.  A successful ballot was held on Monday 16th March. 

He was one of 24 from Lodge Temperance among the 26 founding members of Fortitude Lodge No 4017 consecrated on 13th January 1920 at the Masonic Hall, Edwin Street, Shields Road, Newcastle Upon Tyne and was appointed their first Inner Guard. He took the chair of King Solomon in 1924 and again in 1929.

In the 1939 Register he is shown as a retired Insurance Agent living with his wife Elizabeth at no 5 Myrtle Grove, Gateshead.

George is commemorated in Newcastle on the Roll of Honour 1914-18 Lodge Temperance 2557 (NUT254)

Page updated 29th February 2016.