John PHILLIPS
Rank: Private
Number: 48711
Unit: 6th Battalion ROYAL INNISKILLING FUSILIERS
Date of Death: 8 November 1918
Age: 36
Cemetery: Dourlers Communal Cemetery Extension, Doulers, Nord, France

Like his father, Ambrose, John Phillips was a bricklayer before the War. The family home was at 66 Bloom Street, Edgeley and the 1901 Census shows John to have been of five children at home, together with Ambrose and their mother, Jane.

In the September quarter of 1911, John married Sarah Esther Moorhouse and they are thought to have set up home at 32 Garrett Street, in the Higher Brinksway area of town. John originally enlisted into the Cheshire Regiment and his service number, 26927, confirms this was sometime between May and July 1915. The National Archives holds John's medal entitlement records and these confirm that he served abroad with the Cheshires and was transferred to the Fusiliers at some later date. This may have been after recovering from wounds or a long period of illness. A number of battalions were disbanded in February and March of 1918 with the men being transferred to other units and this may have included John.

The British Army had been steadily advancing for since 31 October and spent the night of 7 August 1918 at Dourlers. At 7.30am the next day, the attack continued. "B" Company was on the left and "A" on the right. "D" Company had been despatched to work round the entrenched German positions from the right flank. The fourth Company, "C", remained in support. The men immediately came under heavy fire from German artillery and machine guns as well as from the rifles of their infantry but, by 8.05, they had captured their objective. They immediately pushed out advanced posts in front of the Maureuge - Avesnes Road. There was considerable fire from machine guns in houses in Mont Dourlers but these were "mopped up" by "D" Company by 8.30.

Throughout the morning there was considerable enemy artillery fire and the Germans attempted to counter attack on more than one occasion but these failed to even reach the advanced posts. At 16.00, the Battalion was relieved back to billets at St Remy Chausee. John and William Brocklehurst were among the ten killed during the day. The War ended three days later. They nearly made it safely through.

   
           
   
     
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