Rank: Gunner
Number: 41277
Unit: 235th Siege Battery ROYAL GARRISON ARTILLERY
Date of Death: 21 October 1917
Age: 28
Cemetery: St Sever Cemetery Extension, Rouen, Seine-Maritime, France

When the 1901 census was taken, John was only attending school part-time. For the remainder of the day, he was employed in a rope making works. He was the only child of John, a labourer, and Elizabeth Leigh of 8 Higher Bridge Street in the Lancashire Hill part of Stockport.

He enlisted into the army in 1914 and his low service number indicates this was within days of War being declared on 4 August. It’s understood that 235th Siege Battery did not go overseas until late 1916, so it is possible that this was not his original unit.

The Siege Batteries fired the heaviest weapons in the arsenal of the British army, used to batter enemy defences from long-range. Most artillerymen were killed by enemy counter-barrage targeting their gun emplacements. However, John died in a military hospital in Rouen and had been badly burned in an accident unconnected with combat. No further details are known.

In the early 1920s, when the War Graves Commission collated its casualty information, his father had also died and his mother had moved to 8 Higher Bridge Street, near Sandy Lane.

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