George Frederick Binley

Name George Frederick Binley
Corps Durham Light Infantry 2/7th Battalion, Yorkshire Regiment 18th Battalion
Rank Corporal
Service No. 268903,108945
Date/Place of entry 1915
Date of death 1953

George Frederick Binley was born in 1875 and was destined to have a highly colourful private life. He was one of the grandsons of William Binley of Corby, the younger brother of Thomas Binley who moved to Cottingham after 1822. This made George Frederick second cousin to Charles Stephen Binley born in Cottingham the same year. For a full account of the Binley families, see the entry for Charles Stephen.

George Frederick’s father Frederick Binley was born in 1844 in Corby and later established himself as a master tailor in Uppingham, where he married in 1874. He two children of the marriage, George Frederick and his sister Hannah had been born by 1876, but the 1881 census showed their mother Eliza was a patient in Leicester and Rutland Lunatic Asylum at Leicester. Eliza remained incarcerated for the rest of her life. Initially identified as a tailor’s wife born in Uppingham, in later census she was listed as a single woman whose birthplace was unknown, which suggests she was no longer in touch with her family.

The Asylum moved from Humberstone Gate to new premises in Narborough in 1908. By the general standards of nineteenth century asylums, the Leicestershire and Rutland is thought to have been reasonably humane and in 1911 Eliza was well enough to be employed there as a nursemaid. She died in 1918. The original Asylum buildings at Humberstone Gate were designated as a military hospital, the 5th General Northern, in 1914.

Meanwhile her husband Frederick had carried on with his tailor’s business in Uppingham North Street, employing a housekeeper who stayed with him for more than thirty years. The two moved to Barrowden sometime after the premature death of his daughter Hannah in 1901. The young George Frederick, aged about six when his mother was committed, was living with his aunt in Corby in 1881 but back working with his father by 1891.

George Frederick’s family life continued to be troubled. He married Lucy Raven of Birmingham in 1902 and their daughter Ivy was born the following year. Another daughter, Joyce was born in 1909 but in that year George sued for divorce, citing a young naval officer Basil Arthur Beal as co-respondent. Divorce, particularly if the couple concerned were not rich, was very rare at that time; only a few hundred divorces were granted each year. A decree nisi was granted in 1910 after which Lucy married Lieutenant Beal. He was an upmarket spouse, the son of a barrister and the owner of a motor car – in 1909 he was fined for having an unilluminated rear number plate. In 1911 the Beals were living in Cricklewood with her daughter Joyce Binley and a couple of servants. Lucy is listed as an actress. (Her second husband died while serving on a submarine which was mined and sunk off the Shetlands in March 1917. She married for a third time in 1922.)

George Frederick may well have lived in London in the early nineteen hundreds as in 1911 he was boarding at the Crown Inn in Uppingham and described himself in the census not as a tailor but a ‘sartorial designer’. He remarried in Clapham but he and his new wife were back in Uppingham for the birth of a third daughter, Eileen Rosa Adele in 1913. His Ladies and Gentlemen’s Complete Outfitters shop was well established in North Street by the 1920s.
Before that however, and despite his being forty one years old, he enlisted in the army in December 1915, initially as a private. What military records survive show him serving in the Durham Light Infantry reserve then being transferred in October 1918 to the Yorkshire Regiment. He was promoted to corporal and demobbed in February 1919 without having served abroad. George Frederick died in 1953.

Other Binley servicemen to whom he was related are Sidney, Percy, Charles, George, and John Binley of Cottingham, John, George and Willis Panter of Cottingham, Albert Gear and Ernest Beeby descended from Cottingham; Wilfred and George Frederick Binley, Percy Augustine Binley, Bernard Binley, William and Herbert Roddis all descended from the Corby Binleys.