George Skene Illingworth Ewen

George Skene Illingworth Ewen

11th (Service) Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers

Died 15 June 1918

This is George Skene Illingworth (I.not J.) Ewen. He was born at West Town Tarland on 1 September 1895 (forty minutes before his twin sister Annie), son of John Ewen, Farmer and Isabella (Isie) Ferries, who had been married at Leochel Cushnie in 1878. In 1901 they lived at Knocksoul Cottage, Logie Coldstone and John was employed at that time as a general labourer. Five year old George had brothers Alexander and Charles (12 and 9) and a sister Annie aged 5. He may be the George Ewen employed as a cattleman on the farm of Alexander Troup at East Pett, Tarland in the 1911 Census, but there were a lot of Ewens in and about Tarland at that time and it is not possible to be sure.
 
Ewen gave his address on enlistment as Torphins, and served in the Army Service Corps (no. 2598282) then the 11th (Service) Bn Northumberland Fusiliers (No.55703). The 11th were formed in 1914 as part of Kitchener’s Third New Army, and served initially on the Western Front as part of the 68th Brigade and 23rd Division of the British army. In autumn 1917, reinforcements from French and British forces were sent to support the Italian army which had been driven back by German and Austrian forces to the Piave River, following the Battle of Caporetto. Some of these men returned to the Western Front to assist in resisting the Spring Offensive of 1918, but the 11th Northumberland Fusiliers remained, and took part, in June 1918 in the Second Battle of the Piave River which ultimately resulted in a victory of the Italian army against the Central Powers. It was a significant victory which is reckoned to have marked decisively the beginning of the end of the Austro-Hungarian empire as a political entity, and of its army. Ewen died on the first day of that Battle, 15 June 1918. He was killed in action on 15 June 1918 and is buried at Magnaboschi British Cemetery.