George Henry Tatham Paton was a recipient of the Victoria Cross. He was only 22 years of age and an acting captain in the Grenadier Guards during the First World War. The London Gazette of 12 February 1918 records the following: “….. for most conspicuous bravery and self sacrifice. When a unit on his left was driven back, thus leaving, his flank in the air and his company practically surrounded, he fearlessly exposed himself to re-adjust the line, walking up and down within fifty yards of the enemy under a withering fire. He personally removed several wounded men, and was the last to leave the village. Later, he again re-adjusted the line, exposing himself regardless of all danger the whole time, and when the enemy four times counter-attacked he sprang each time upon the parapet, deliberately risking his life, and being eventually mortally wounded, in order to stimulate his command. After the enemy had broken through on his left, he again mounted the parapet, and with a few men, who were inspired by his great example, forced them once more to withdraw, thereby undoubtedly saving the left flank.” The action took place on 1 December 1917. He is buried in Mett-en-Couture Communal Cemetery British Extension. His Victoria Cross is displayed at the Guards Regimental Headquarters at Wellington Barracks, London.
George was the son of George and Etta Paton and was born in Dunoon in 1895. His father was a sugar merchant in Greenock and later moved to the London area to become managing director and deputy chairman of Bryant and May Ltd, the match manufacturer.
His name appears locally on the war memorial in St Paul’s Church Greenock, now Lyle Kirk/Newark Street ( website www.lylekirk.org ).