Old Coathamians of World War One


No. 472166 Sapper, 55th Anti-Aircraft Company,
Corps of Royal Engineers, attached Royal Air Force.

Born 5 May 1897,
Died 13 July 1918, aged 21 years.

Buried in Middlesbrough (Linthorpe) Cemetery,
Grave A.C.10602.

55th Anti-Aircraft Company. Royal Engineers, was a searchlight unit based in Middlesbrough. Such units were usually manned by those found unfit for overseas service. At the time of his death Sapper Wycherley had been attached to the newly-formed Royal Air Force, although how he came to lose his life remains to be established.

George Wycherley was the son of George Dean Wycherley and Phoebe Jane Wycherley. During his time at Coatham Grammar School the family moved from 8, Hilda Place, Saltburn-by-the-Sea to The Shakespeare Hotel in Linthorpe, Middlesbrough, where his father became the landlord. George’s parents had lived in Middlesbrough in the early 1890s, his father’s occupation then being a ‘pickle maker’. A later family will suggests George had a younger brother, Thomas, born in 1903. George had attended an elementary school in Saltburn but in January 1908, aged 10, he went to Coatham. He first left school in December 1913 to take up employment as a clerk in a merchant's office but unusually returned to school in May 1915, staying on until April 1916. The Register then notes he left to become a Sapper in the Royal Engineers. George’s parents were living at 109, Oxford Road, Middlesbrough at the time of his death.