Registered at birth – George Edwin French.

Image courtesy of Pat French.

Born: 27th January 1880, Ipswich.

Died: 5th June 1940; age: 61; killed when M.V. ‘Sweep’ II struck a magnetic mine.

Residence: 206, Rosehill Road, Ipswich.

Occupation: Mate – Motor Vessel.


First World War Enrolement: 24th April 1915. Height 5ft 5 1/4ins, fresh complexion, grey/brown eyes and scars on left side under arm. Next of Kin: wife Mrs. French, of 206, Rosehill Road, Ipswich.

Despatched from Ipswich 29th April 1915 – Arrival – Pembroke – 29th April 1915, ranked as a Trimmer – discharged medically unfit – 30th April 1915.




Rank: Mate.

Regiment: Merchant Navy, M.V. ‘Sweep’ II (Ipswich).


Memorial Reference:

Panel 105.

Tower Hill Memorial,





1881   Denham Green, Suffolk.


George was a year old he was living with his maternal grandparents.

George Madgetts, 50, a Labourer, born Yaxley, Suffolk.

Susan Madgetts, 48, born Eye, Suffolk.


1891   Burnthouse, Laxfield, Suffolk.


George was 11 years old and living with his maternal grandparents.

George, 60, an Agricultural Labourer.

Susan, 58.

1 lodger.


1901   22, Tovell’s Road, Ipswich.


George was 21 years old, a General Labour. He was living with his parents, siblings & widowed, maternal grandfather.

Daniel French, 49, a Boot & Shoe Maker, born Middlesex.

Mary Ann French (nee Madgetts), 41, born Whitton, Suffolk.

Susan Mary French, 18, a day Girl – Domestic, Middlesex.

Arthur Daniel French, 16, born Middlesex.

Frederick William French, 13, born Ipswich.

Henry Charles French, 11, born Ipswich.

Emily Maria French, 9, born Ipswich.

John Albert French, 5, born Ipswich.

Stanley Herbert French, 1, born Ipswich.


1911   206, Rosehill Road, Ipswich.


George was 31 years old, a General Labourer – Agricultural Implements Shop. He was married and Head of the Household.

Maud, 27.

Arthur, 8.

James, 6.

Robert, 4.

Doris, 2.


In 1902, Bosmere, Suffolk, George married Maud Alice Aldous, born October 1884, Flowton, Suffolk.

They had 9 children.



Edwin was a Mate – Motor Vessel. He was living with his wife and children at the family home – 206, Rosehill Road, Ipswich:

Maud, unpaid Domestic Duties.

Jack Edwin French, an Engineer’s Packer, born January 1918, Ipswich.

Eric Roy French, at school, born March 1926, Ipswich.


Probate to Maud Alice French – widow.


George lost two sons in the Second World War:

Jack Edwin French, died from a shrapnel injury, during an Allied air bombing on the 12th May 1944, aged 26, at POW Camp Stalag IV B. He was a Gunner, service number 953067, in the Royal Artillery, 67 Medium Regiment. Jack was buried at Prague War Cemetery, Czech Republic.

Alfred Edgar French, died on the 6th March 1942, aged 26. He was a Sapper, service number 1883555, in the Royal Engineers, 1 Field Squadron. Alfred is remembered on the Alamein Memorial, Egypt.

George is also remembered on the war memorial at the Town Hall, Ipswich.


5th June 1940


M.V. ‘Sweep’ II was a British sludge vessel. On the 5th June 1940, she was en-route from Ipswich to spoil grounds, when she struck a magnetic mine 1.4 miles from Landguard Port, Felixstowe, Suffolk. She sunk with the loss of 2 men.

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