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A First World War Soldier

I have donated this button in memory of my grandfather, Samuel Genese (1889-1963). This button is from his First World War army tunic.

Grandpa Genese served in the Royal Army Ordnance Corps, until in 1943 he transferred to the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers.

Born in Colombo, Ceylon (Sri Lanka), Samuel Genese (1889-1963) and his family served in the army through several generations. 

Originally Sephardic Jewish immigrants from Portugal, the family settled during the 18th century in London where eventually they worked as tailors and dispensing chemists at the Woolwich Barracks.

Genese is an Anglicised version of the name Genovese (probably meaning from Genoa). Samuel Genese was already in the regular army at the outbreak of the First World War. He served throughout that conflict and through the Second World War, finishing with the rank of lieutenant-colonel.

The only story of his First World War service he ever related was a memory of the time that he was splashed with mud by the Prince of Wales’s horse when the future Edward VIII visited the Western Front!

Tim Curtis