John KELLY
Rank: Guardsman
Number: 27045
Unit: 4th Battalion GRENADIER GUARDS
Date of Death: 21 July 1917
Age: 28
Cemetery: Bleuet Farm Cemetery, Ieper, Belgium

When the 1901 Census was taken, 12 year old John Kelly was living with his mother, Jane, at 9 Newton's Buildings in the Hempshaw lane area of Stockport. She was a widow and John had been named after his father. He also had an older brother, Edward. Also in the home was 28 year old, William Viley, Jane's son from a previous marriage and his daughter, Jean. It has not been possible to discover anything more about John's personal life.

On 21 July 1917, John and his mates were in trenches to the north of the Belgian town at the village of Boesinghe. In the early hours of the morning, Royal Engineers fired gas projectiles at the German trenches opposite. The Battalion's War Diary recorded that the "cloud looked very effective". Ten minutes later, at 2.10am, the German artillery retaliated, shelling the Grenadiers until 2.30 and this is probably when John was killed. The Diary notes that, apart from a little shelling, the remainder of the day was quiet. He was one of four Grenadiers to be killed during the day.

   
           
   
     
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