John William SCHOFIELD
Rank: Gunner
Number: 167934
Date of Death: 27 June 1917
Age: 37
Cemetery: Trois Arbres Cemetery, Steenwerck, Pas de Calais, France

Very little is known about John, except that military records published after the War indicate he was born In Rochdale and enlisted into the Army at Stockport. It’s not known when he and his parents, James & Elizabeth, came to live in the town at 50 Yates Street, Brinnington.

Few records remain of the units of the Royal Garrison Artillery and 51st Siege Battery is no exception. Whilst a few months of its War Diary are held at the National Archives, June 1917 is not amongst them. As such it is impossible to know the circumstances of John’s death. It is known, however, that he was not killed outright. A short while before he died, he was badly wounded. This is unlikely to have been more than a day or so before as he was still at a field hospital when he died. 2nd Australian Casualty Clearing Station was based at Steenwerck and was the designated field hospital to be used in the Battery’s sector. It will have been about 20 – 30 miles behind the front line position. Men were not kept there long. They were either patched up sufficiently to allow further evacuation to the full facilities of the base hospitals along the Channel coast – or, like John, they died.

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