John RATCLIFFE
Rank: Guardsman
Number: 27242
Unit: 3rd Battalion GRENADIER GUARDS
Date of Death: 22 July 1917
Age: 26 (based on 1901 Census information)
Cemetery: Bleuet Farm Cemetery, Ieper, Belgium

John Ratcliffe, a carter, had married Mary around 1880. 21 years later, when the Census was taken, they were living at 16 Great Egerton Street, Stockport, with their seven children - Ellen (20), Samuel (18), John (10), Martha (8), Amelia (6), Phoebe (4) and Elizabeth (1). Also in the house at the time, were two of John's brothers-in-law - Arthur and William Blomefield.

In later life, John, junior, married and lived with his wife, Polly, and daughter at 1 Hannsfield Cottages, Turncroft Lane. He worked in the iron foundry of Henry Hollindrake & Sons, Prince's Street. Polly was the sister of Harold Leigh.

The Regimental History records that, on 21 July, John and his comrades started another tour of duty in the front line trenches near Boesinghe. This is a small village just to the north of the Belgian town of Ypres (now Ieper). A letter to his wife from his Lieutenant said that John had been killed instantly by a sniper's bullet through the head on the second day in the trenches.

Reporting his death, the local newspaper noted his parents and sister, Amelia, were living at 32 Swann Street in the Portwood area of town. Other brothers and sisters had emigrated to America.

Polly later remarried and had further children. John's service medals are held by this branch lof the family.

   
           
   
     
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