Rank: Private
Date of Death: 23 July 1916
Age: 21
Cemetery: Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France

John was born in Woodley in about 1895. With such a common name, it has not been possible to identify his family but the newspaper report of his death mentioned that his mother lived at 11 or 14 Queen Street, Stockport. He worked as a carter for Maurice Cowen , a furniture dealer of 12 Lower Hillgate.

He enlisted into the army at Stockport and his service number is sufficiently low to suggest he was an original recruit to the newly formed Battalion. which recruited from 3 December 1914. The 17th was one of number of units known as "Bantam Battalions" because they were formed to allow men under the normal recruitment height of 5' 3" to join up. John will have gone overseas in January or February 1916.

The Battle of the Somme started on 1 July 1916 but the Fusiliers did not arrive in the area until the following day. Amongst the High Command, there was a growing realisation that the Bantams were not sufficiently fit for the rigours of trench warfare and this perhaps explains why it would be late August before they would take part in an attack and were then quickly moved away from the Battle. On the 21st, they relieved the 18th Battalion in the front line, taking over the sector between Trones Wood and Maltz Horn Farm in the south of the battlefield. The 23rd would be the final day of that tour of duty and the Battalion's War Diary records that the "front line was again heavily shelled throughout the day". John was one of 18 men to be killed by the shelling.

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