George Cork Dalgoutté was born 11 March 1891 in Pudsey, West Yorkshire, the third child of Charles Frederick Dalgoutté, a sergeant of police in the West Riding Constabulary (and himself the son of a police inspector), and his wife Martha Olivia Dalgoutté. At his birth the family lived at 76 Greenside in Pudsey, but later moved to Keighley, Yorkshire, and then Leeds. In 1910 his father, then a widower and a police pensioner, remarried Mary Hannah Lawson; he was working as a commercial traveller.
George Dalgoutté attended the Trade and Grammar School in Keighley. By the age of 20 George was a teacher at an elementary school, boarding with Elizabeth Steeples in Mapplewell, Yorkshire. He then attended Bede College 1914-1915, in order to obtain a professional teaching qualification. His family was then living at 60 Sefton Road, Sandylands in Morecambe. He completed his training in July 1915, and passed the Certificate Examination, with distinction in Theory of Education and in Drawing, and with credit in English and Mathematics.
In October 1915 the Morecambe Visitor and Heysham Chronicle reported that George Dalgoutté had written, in a letter to his mother, that “I cannot conscientiously accept an appointment. With two younger brothers serving it is my duty to follow their example”. This must refer to his having refused a teaching post, for in August 1915 he had enlisted, joining the British Expeditionary Force (B.E.F.) and was attached to the Honourable Artillery Company (H.A.C.). Both his brothers survived the war.
George Dalgoutté served in France from 8 January 1916. He obtained his commission on 29 December 1916, and served in the 14th Division of The Rifle Brigade (The Prince Consort’s Own), 8th Battalion. The Battalion fought at Hooge, being the first unit to experience an attack by flamethrowers. They were in action again at Bellewaarde. In 1916 they were on the Somme, seeing action in the Battle of Delville Wood and the Battle of Flers-Courcelette.
In 1917 the 8th Battalion fought in the German retreat to the Hindenburg Line, the First and Third Battle of the Scarpe at Arras. Dalgoutté was reported to have been killed in action on 3 May 1917, at which time the battalion was engaged in heavy fighting in the Third Battle of the Scarpe. This was a combined British and Australian assault on German lines at Monchy, the Scarpe and Bullecourt in an attempt to reach the Wotanstellung, a major German defensive fortification. However, neither force was able to make any significant advances, and the attack was quickly called off, but not before incurring heavy casualties.
As George’s body was never found his sacrifice is commemorated at the Arras Memorial. He is also commemorated on the Bede College 1914-1918 Cross, Plaque, and Roll of Honour, and on war memorials at Farsley and at Heysham, Lancaster. He left a young widow living at Priory Road in London, Florrie Durkin, whom he had married whilst home on leave on 27 January 1917: no children are known.