2nd Lt. George Onions V.C

1883 Mar 2. Born Bilston, Staffordshire

1891 census

He attended West Monmouthshire Grammar School, Pontypool, and became an apprentice steelmaker.

1901 census . Age 18, working in Abersychan (Monmouthshire) as an assistant to an analytical chemist.

1902 Oct 8. He gave up plans to become a mining engineer after a short spell at Tirpentwys Colliery at the time of a serious mine accident. 5 men were killed when they were thrown out of an ascending cage when the rope winding the cage up broke.

1904 he emigrated to Australia

1907 Aug 31. Married in Brisbane, Australia to Florence Macfarlane Donaldson. Ancestry tree and QLD records

1907 Nov 15. He and his wife arrive back in UK by ship from Australia. He is a commercial traveller

1909 Nov 2. A son born in Giffnock, Scotland (son died in 1932 in Birmingham)

1911 Census in Scotland. He is an "Iron & Steel Merchant"

He enlisted at Sale (Cheshire) and served in the 3rd Hussars Regiment and 3rd King's Own Hussars, cavalry regiments.

1915 Oct 18 Lands in France with 3rd Hussars

1916 Sep 26. Cadet George Onions to be temp 2nd Lt, Rifle Brigade. Oddly the WO338 entry gives him in 94th Foot, Connaught Rangers. Rifle Brigade are 95th Foot, so it appears to be an error in WO338, but I cannot be sure.

1916 Dec 22. Temp 2nd Lt G Onions (Rifle Brigade) is removed from the Army for absence without leave

1917 Apr 17. Back in France with 1st Battalion of the Devonshire Regiment.

1918 Aug 22. When he was 35 years old, and a Lance-Corporal in the 1st Battalion, The Devonshire Regiment. South of Achiet-le-Petit, France, Lance-Corporal Onions, having been sent out with one man to get in touch with the battalion on the right flank, saw the enemy advancing in large numbers. His Victoria Cross is displayed at the Military Museum of Devon and Dorset (Dorchester, Dorset, England).

"For the most conspicuous bravery and initiative south of Achiet-le-Petit on 22 August 1918, when, having been sent out with one man to get in touch with the battalion on the right flank, he observed the enemy advancing in large numbers to counter-attack the positions gained on the previous day. Realising his opportunity, he boldly placed himself with his comrade on the flank of the advancing enemy and opened rapid fire when the target was most favourable. When the enemy were about 100 yards from him, the line wavered and some hands were seen to be thrown up. Lance Corporal Onions then rushed forward and, with the assistance of his comrade, took about 200 of the enemy prisoners and marched them back to his company commander.

1919 Feb 13. At Buckingham Palace to get VC from King George V

1919 Feb 25 Gets cheque for 100 pounds

1919 Aug 17. Rifle Brigade, G Onions VC (late temp 2nd Lt) to be temp 2nd Lt

1919 Aug 17 . temp 2nd Lt Rifle Brigade, G Onions VC relinquishes his commission and retains the rank of 2nd Lt

1921 Jun 14. Joined ADRIC with service no 2051. Posted to C Coy

1922 Jan 13. Discharged on demobilisation of ADRIC

1925 Jun 25. In court for fraud

1936. He lived in Birmingham from circa 1936 till his death in 1944.

1939 Jul 12. 2nd Lt George Onions V.C was commissioned a Captain in the National Defence Companies

1941 Apr 1. R Warwick Regt Capt G Onions VC resigns his commission. There is no mention of him being entitled to call himself "Major"

1944 Apr 2. Died and was buried in Quinton Cemetery, Birmingham. His last address was at 4 Hagley Court, Hagley Road, Edgbaston