John PICKERING
Rank: Private
Number: 227040
Unit: 1st Battalion MONMOUTHSHIRE REGIMENT
Date of Death: 22 November 1917
Age: 29
Cemetery: Loos Memorial, Pas de Calais

Very little is known about John's life before joining the army - and nothing about the circumstances of his death.

He was born in Stockport, the son of John and Hannah (living at 32 Bury Street in the early 1920s) and enlisted into the army at Warrington.

The Battalion's War Diary, held at the National Archives, has no mention of anyone being killed on 22 November, noting only that one soldier received a wound but it was not serious enough for him to go to the dressing station. The 1st Monmouths were a Pioneer battalion - comprised of men trained to fight but whose main role was in the construction of strongpoints and other defences. On the day John died, they were undertaking the usual sort of working parties.

The most likely explanation is that John had been temporarily attached to another unit. An examination of Regimental records, published after the War, show that a total of 5 Monmouths were killed that day. None have a known grave. John and Albert Roberts are commemorated on the Memorial to the Missing at Loos. The other three are recorded by the War Graves Commission as being attached to the 12th Battalion, South Wales Borderers and are commemorated on the Memorial at Cambrai. It seems possible that John and Albert were also at Cambrai and a clerical error at the time has meant they are not commemorated with their mates. Or they may have been attached to another unknown unit in the area. It will probably never be known what happened.

   
           
   
     
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