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The Wild Rover - Rambling On - Just Like George #1246
The Wild Rover –Rambling On – is a series of events from Mike McGrother running from Apr to Dec.
Just Like George #1246 is a unique, intimate theatre style gig presented by Wildcats frontman and Teesside community engineer Mike McGrother.
Having led the ongoing 1245 Sunflowers World War 1 commemoration since 2014, Mike has been working to keep the memory of Stockton’s soldiers in the public domain whilst at the same time highlighting the need for greater empathy in relation to isolated and lonely people living in the Borough today.
During the research aspect of www.1245sunflowers.org Mike was told the story of a man whose name never appeared in the town’s book of remembrance. George Hunter was a young dad of two children who, continually confronted by the horrors of war, eventually deserted and ran home. He was captured in Easingwold near York and taken back to Ypres. During his trial it was acknowledged that George was suffering from a mental illness - shell shock or Post Traumatic Stress as we know it today. But, as an example to rest of his ‘troublesome’ battalion, George was sentenced to death and shot at dawn on July 2nd, 1916 - the second day of the Battle of the Somme.
In 2006, George and 305 other Shot at Dawn soldiers were granted a posthumous pardon by the British Government.
On 24th February Mike is heading off with his wild rover mates Mick and Ian and will walk from Easingwold to Ypres and onto George’s final resting place in Edquelbecq, France. He will place a sunflower tribute on George’s grave, remembering him and all other forgotten soldiers as Sunflower #1246. At the same time Mike is using the walk to highlight the condition of Post Traumatic Stress within our community.
Tonight, hear songs inspired by the horrific events of World War 1 along with words and images of the week where Mike became ‘Just Like George’.
Image by EnA Photography.