Rank: Lance Corporal
Number: 15605
Unit: 8th Battalion South Lancashire Regiment
Date of Death: 3 July 1916
Age: 17
Cemetery: Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France

John had been born at Hall Lane, Alderley Edge, Cheshire. His parents, John & Fanny, had moved to 347 Outwood View, Handforth. According to the 1901 Census, he had two older brothers, Frank and Henry and an older sister, Elsie

He enlisted at Stockport, originally into the Cheshire Regiment (service no. 17382) before transferring regiments, presumably quite quickly. The official age for active service overseas was 19, so John must have lied about his true age in order to enlist.

1 July had seen the opening of the Battle of the Somme, but John and his Battalion had been in reserve and not seen action. On 2 July, they left Hedauville and went into trenches south of Thiepval in the heart of the Somme battlefield. They were to act in support of other battalions of the Brigade who carried out an attack on the German line at 6.15am. The Battalion's official War Diary gives no further details, but John was one of 22 members of the Battalion killed that day.

(Note: Original research by John Hartley for the Cheadle & Gatley War Memorials website)

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