Inscription: “I CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST WHICH STRENGTHENETH ME" PHIL. 4.13”
George was born at 86, Hartfield Road, Wimbledon in May 1892, the son of travelling salesman George Cates and his wife, Alice. George was educated at Rutlish School, Merton Park.
Following the outbreak of war, George joined the Artists Rifles (28th County of London Battalion). In 1915 he secured a commission as 2nd Lieutenant in the Rifle Brigade and joined the 2nd Battalion in France.
On 8 March 1917 the 2nd Rifles were in a working party responsible for deepening a captured German trench at Bouchavesnes. It was at this point that he performed the act of valour for which he was awarded a Victoria Cross. His Victoria Cross is at the Royal Green Jackets Museum, Winchester, Hampshire.
His younger brother, Geoffrey, 2nd Lieutenant in the 10th Battalion, Durham Light Infantry, was killed on 21 March 1918. George's older brother was a Private in the Canadian Army Medical Corps and was drowned on 27 June 1918, when the Canadian hospital ship, H.M.S. Llandovery, was torpedoed by a German submarine.
Scout Ref: Prior to the war George was Assistant Scoutmaster of the 2nd Wimbledon Troop, based at the YMCA.