Help me trace the life of a war hero

Ian Hey pictured with a First World War memorial plaque.
Ian Hey pictured with a First World War memorial plaque.

A history buff hopes to piece together the story of a local Great War hero after discovering a memorial plaque at an auction.

Military history enthusiast Ian Hey is appealing for help to find out about the early life of George Spencer Milner - a soldier from Elland who was killed in the First World War.

Ian’s mission began when he bought a First World War memorial plaque from Calder Valley Auctioneers in Luddenden Foot.

The plaques were given to the families of those soldiers who fell in the war and Ian set out to find out more about the young man commemorated.

Ian, 56, said: “I’m hoping to build up a proper biography of George’s life, especially as we are approaching Remembrance Day.

“At the Adanac Cemetery where George is buried, there are 3,186 Commonwealth graves of which 1,708 are unidentified, so this is my act of remembrance.

“George was a local lad from Elland, he was from our community and I’d love to find out more about his early life.”

It’s a cause close to Ian’s heart, as two of his uncles fought in the Great War - one who died after being held as a prisoner of war.

And since 2003, Ian he has sold poppies for the Royal British Legion,

Since buying the plaque in September, Ian has discovered that Private George Milner was born in Blackley, Elland in 1899. George enlisted in Huddersfield and was in the 1st battalion Lincolnshire regiment, but was killed in action in Flanders on August 25 1918. He was just 19 years old.

Ian added: “If I could find out more about him i’d be very pleased that it was another person remembered and not forgotten.

“I’d like to find other plaques and remember even more of those who fell in the war.”