Rank: Private
Number: 30406
Unit: 1st Battalion King’s Own (Royal Lancaster) Regiment
Date of Death: 12 October 1917
Age: 36
Cemetery: Tyne Cot Memorial, Zonnebeke, Belgium

Nothing is known of John's life or family, except that his mother was Sarah Ann Pickering of 39 Rose Street in the Sandy Lane area of Stockport.

His army service number is not low and it is probable that he was conscripted into the army around mid-1916. The Third Battle of Ypres opened on 31 July 1917 and, almost immediately became literally bogged down in the mud. The Battle is more commonly known as "Passchendaele" after the village which was hoped to have been a first day objective. After the initial assault, further advances were on a much smaller scale and it was only by mid-October that troops got close enough to attempt a direct assault on the village.

It had rained continually for several days and the ground, already a quagmire, became almost impassable, but a further attack was scheduled for 12 October. In their sector, 1st Battalion, King's Own would operate as close support to the two leading battalions. The rain stopped at 4.20am and, just over an hour later, the first wave of troops advanced through the mud from their assembly positions east of the village of Poelcappelle. The 18th Division, on the left, was unable to capture Poelcappelle and this allowed the Germans entrenched there to pour heavy fire onto the attackers further to the right. One company of the King's Own and another of the Rifle Brigade were ordered forward to establish a defensive flank. A counter attack during the day forced the British troops to retire a little way. The village of Passchendaele remained in German hands. The King's Own had lost 46 killed, 18 missing and 159 wounded. John is presumed to have been one of the missing and his body was never found and identified. His name is commemorated on the nearby Memorial to Missing.

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