LANCE CORPORAL GEORGE EDWARD PIKE
1ST JULY 1916 AGE 33
BURIED: Y RAVINE CEMETERY, SOMME, FRANCE
George Pike was one of the three hundred and twenty-four men from the 1st Battalion the Newfoundland Regiment killed in action on the 1 July 1916. Originally among the missing, his body was located and buried in June 1917. His full army details, medical records and conduct sheets have been digitised and can be found on the Newfoundland Regiment and the Great War website.
His inscription is a well known American quotation from a speech given by Horace Mann 1796-1859, an educational reformer and the President of Antioch College at Yellow Springs, Ohio. It comes from his commencement message to the class of 1859 and is now not only repeated to the graduating class at every commencement but has become the College's motto.
It's not possible to say who chose Pike's inscription as the name under it is that of Lt Colonel T Nangle, Newfoundland's Director of Graves Registration and Enquiries and Memorials and the country's representative on the Imperial War Graves Commission. I have evidence that Newfoundland families did choose inscriptions but sometimes the one on the grave isn't the one they chose.
Nangle served as a Roman Catholic padre with the Royal Army Chaplains Department, where he was much respected by the men. It is to him that credit for the purchase of the ground over which so many Newfoundlanders fought and died on 1 July 1916 was bought and has been preserved as a memorial to all Newfoundlanders who died in the war. He is also responsible for the six caribou memorials, four in France, one in Belgium and one in Newfoundland that also commemorate the dead.