Gabriel George Coury was born on 13th June 1896 at 16 Croxteth Grove, Princes Park, the son of Coptic Christians. His father, Raphael, had been born in Alexandria and his mother, Marie, in Lebanon. His parents had come to Liverpool in the 1890s to help in the running of a family cotton broking business. The family moved out to Waterloo and after attending Stonyhurst College, Coury enlisted at the outbreak of the First World War and in 1915 was commissioned into the South Lancashire Regiment. It was at Guillemont on the Somme that he earned the Victoria Cross, his citation reading:
For most conspicuous bravery. During an advance he was in command of two platoons ordered to dig a communication trench from the firing line to the position won. By his fine example and utter contempt of danger he kept up the spirits of his men and completed his task under intense fire. Later, after his battalion had suffered severe casualties and the Commanding Officer had been wounded, he went out in front of the advanced position in broad daylight and in full view of the enemy found his Commanding Officer, and brought him back to the new advanced trench over ground swept by machine-gun fire. He not only carried out his original tasks and saved his Commanding Officer, but also assisted in rallying the attacking troops when they were shaken and in leading them forward.
He went on to qualify as a pilot in the RFC, suffering considerable injuries when his plane crashed and burst into flames. Returning to the North West to his job as a cotton broker he initially lived at 43 Canning Street L8, later moving to Bootle and Southport. He re-enlisted in the army in 1940 and served until 1945.
After the war, unable to find employment in the cotton trade he moved to 103 Brunswick Road where he opened a fish and chip shop. He prospered in the new field of catering, opening more premises and gaining the concessions for catering in a number of Liverpool parks. He died on 2nd February 1956 and was buried at St Peter and Paul's church, Crosby.
The Coury family home at the time of George's birth in 1896.
Coury was living at this address shortly after the end of the First World War.
© Liverpool Footprints