John appears to have had only a brief connection with the Cheadle Hulme area. When the 1901 Census was taken, he was aged 5 and living at Baxter Road, Sale with his parents, George and Mary, and his younger sister, Dorothy. George was a successful corn merchant and his income allowed the family to employ a live-in general servant, 16 year old Sarah Berry.
The 1910 edition of Kelly's Directory then records the family living at 8 Madison Avenue, Cheadle Hulme, but they had moved away by the 1914 edition. The move was probably to "Crafant", Lightwood Road, Buxton, where Mr & Mrs Rowlinson were known to be living in the early 1920s.
John enlisted, at Manchester, into the 6th (Territorial) Battalion just after War was declared in August 1914. Many of the young middle class recruits to the Battalion worked for cotton companies which had their offices in the city centre. Within a month, John was aboard a ship bound for Egypt where he spent the next seven months. An account of this time can be found here.
At the beginning of May, John and his comrades left Egypt to go into action at Gallipoli. He would be killed in the Battalion's second major attack of the campaign on 7 August.