John Joshua SAVAGE
Rank: Private
Number: 52728
Unit: 1/5th Battalion LANCASHIRE FUSILIERS
Date of Death: 9 October 1918
Age: 19
Cemetery: Busigny Communal Cemetery Extension, Nord, France

When the 1901 census was taken, 25 year old Arthur Savage, a rag merchant, was living at 6 Sun Court, Middle Hillgate, Stockport. With him were his three children - Catherine (3), John (1 year 6 months) and Arthur (1 month). He was a married man, but his wife was no longer at the home. However, the census records that his "mistress", Bridget Smith, was living there. Presumably Bridget was mother to Arthur and, possibly, the other boys. She would marry Arthur in 1907.

John will have been conscripted into the army when he became 18, so had probably not been at the front for too long before he died. He was one of the Battalion's signallers.

On 8 October, the Battalion took part in the general advance of 42nd Division and spent the night at Villers-Plouch. The advance continued at 7.20 the next morning and, by nightfall, they had reached Esnes where they spent another night in billets and bivouacs. The Battalion War Diary notes that an artillery shell fell in the Battalion bivouac area killing two and wounding four.

Regimental records published after the War note John "died of wounds" so he will have been one of the four. His burial quite close to Esnes suggests that he was in the process of being evacuated to a field hospital when he succumbed to the wounds - perhaps whilst being treated by the Battalion's own medical officer. He will have been buried near to where he died but, after the armistice, many of these small burial areas were closed as the land was returned to civilian use. John's body will have been moved to the new "concentration" Cemetery at Busigny where his grave is now tended by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

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