One of the most recognisable monuments in the Framlingham Cemetery in Suffolk is the memorial to George Henry ORSLER who was killed during World War 1 on 1st January 1915 – at the start of a New Year one can only imagine how the devastating news of his death affected his family.
During my book research I investigated copies of the old Framlingham Weekly News newspaper and found the following article about him from 23rd January 1915:
‘The second death which we have this week to deploy from the fighting line is that of George Orsler, eldest son of Mr & Mrs John Orsler of The Square who were officially notified on Wednesday. We append a short biography feeling assured that our readers will join us in expressing deep sympathy with the bereaved relatives:
An eventful and honourable career for one so young had been the fortune of George Orsler, who, had he been spared, was destined to rise still higher in the calling he had chosen. Born at Framlingham in 1888, he, having been endowed with smart address and keen intellect, showed much promise in his early youth and entered service at Oxted (Surrey) as footman. After remaining there for some time he left with excellent credentials, and fortified with these and an ambitious disposition he next embarked for Cape Town, where he was engaged as a footman to Sir Hely Hutchinson, then Governor of South Africa, which post he relinquished when Sir Hely gave over the reins of Government to Lord Gladstone and he returned to England.
Shortly after his arrival home, the deceased was engaged as first footman to Sir Courtenay Warner, M.P., of Brettenham Park and retained that position until he joined Kitchener’s Army in August, and was attached to the First Division of the Scots Guards. He is reported to have made excellent progress in his training and was offered Corporal’s rank if he would remain in England for three months longer, the alternative being the retention of the subordinate rank of Private and active service. He unhesitatingly preferred the latter, and had written several letters to relatives and friends at home describing his experience.
We are asked by the two unfortunate men’s relatives to express their sincere thanks for the many very kind messages and expressions of sympathy they have received in the loss of their dear sons. They will, we feel sure find comfort and strength in this hour of their great trial in the thought that their sons have taken their part nobly in the victory which will assuredly ultimately crown our armies and have laid down their lives in the stern efforts now being made to indicate their country’s honour.
George is just one of the remarkable young men from Framlingham who made the ultimate sacrifice and whom we remember 100 years on.