On this day in 1943, George Reuben Martin Fisher (1923-1943) died in Tunisia in the Second World War. He was 20.
George was a private in the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Hampshire Regiment – and fighting in the North African Campaign – when he lost his life on May 4, 1943.
The 2nd Hampshires were the first British battalion to arrive in France as part of the British Expeditionary Force in 1939, and were among the last to be evacuated from Dunkirk on June 2, 1940.
On November 11, 1942, the battalion left Liverpool for Algiers. They took part in an advance towards Tunis, during which Medjez-el-Bab and Tebourba were captured.
They then helped to spearhead a heroic four-day defence of Tebourba, 20 miles west of Tunis. The 689 officers and men of the 2nd Hampshires fought off a series of counter attacks from German forces despite being outnumbered four to one and facing a wave of air and tank attacks.
They lost almost 500 men in their brave stand. One senior officer – who was wounded in the attack – was awarded the Victoria Cross.
George died in the final days of the Tunisian Campaign – fought between November 8, 1942 and May 13, 1943 – which was the last stage of the North African Campaign.
He was buried at Medjez-el-Bab War Cemetery in Tunisia. His grave includes the inscription: ‘Gone but not forgotten’.
George, born in 1923 in Farnham, Surrey, was the son of Henry Reuben Martin Fisher (1900-1987) and Hilda May Hockley (1905-1967), of Farnborough, Hampshire. Henry was the son of Henry Reuben Martin Fisher Snr (1870-1955) and Lavinia Dennis (1866-1916). Lavinia was the daughter of William Dennis (1835-1925) and Lavinia Elston (1838-1926). Lavinia was the daughter of William Elston (1813- 1885) and Loveday Roberts (1819-1909). Loveday was the daughter of William Roberts (1791-1875) and Frances Hodge (1796-1873). William was the son of John Roberts (1766-1834) and Elizabeth James (1767-1861). John was the son of William Roberts (1738-), my great-great-great-great-great grandfather.
Medjez-el-Bab War Cemetery where George was buried. Picture (source: Flickr) taken on April 2, 2014 by Verity Cridland (CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons). https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cross_Medjez_el-Bab_War_Cemetery.jpg