Regimental records and the inscription on the War Memorial spell John's name as above, although the 1901 Census has it as Macauley.
The Census confirms that John's father had died by then (and his name is not known). His mother, Emily, was living with her eight children in four rooms at 1 Florence Grove, Levenshulme, Manchester. John, then 18, was working as a carter.
When John originally enlisted into the army, he was assigned to the Royal Field Artillery and given the service number of 136383. An examination of his medal entitlement records, at the National Archives, makes no mention of this, confirming that he never served abroad with the Artillery. No doubt, once he had finished his training he will have been transferred to the infantry who will have been in greater need of replacement troops.
In early August 1917, the Fusiliers were in the area around Ypres. At some point, John was badly wounded and was evacuated to a Casualty Clearing Station (field hospital) a few miles behind the lines at Poperinge, where he died. It cannot be known for certain when he received his wounds but it will not have been more than a couple of days before.
The Battalion's War Diary for 1 August notes that they were in dug-outs at the Esplanade in Ypres and two men were wounded. On the 3rd, platoons were allowed out of the dugouts for 30 minutes exercise each - another man was wounded. And, on the day he died, another five men were wounded during heavy shelling. John was, almost certainly, one of these eight men.