John Henry TORR
Rank: Sergeant
Number: 235462
Unit: 14th Battalion ROYAL WELSH FUSILIERS
Date of Death: 13 October 1918
Age: 20
Cemetery: Bertry Communal Cemetery, Nord, France

John lived most of his life in Macclesfield and was so well thought of there that he is commemorated on three war memorials in the town - the main town one, the town hall Memorial and one at St Michael's Church, where the family had , presumably, worshipped. His father, also called John, was a telegraph clerk and, in 1896, had married Eleanor Ward in a civil ceremony. They quickly had a daughter, Doris, and then, in about 1898, John was born. When the Census was taken in 1901, the family was living at 27 Roe Street and the youngest daughter, Gwendoline, was just six months old.

At some point, Mr & Mrs Torr moved to Stockport and lived at 54 Bowden Street, Edgeley. It is not known when this was and it may even have been after the War. Certainly, it has not been possible to identify any earlier specific connection they had with the town and, when John came to join the army, he travelled to Macclesfield to enlist. He joined the local Territorial Battalion - the 7th Cheshires. His original service number, 291140, confirms this was after the beginning of 1917, so it is most likely that he joined as a conscript when he was 18.

It's not known when he transferred to the Fusiliers or under what circumstances. Perhaps he was wounded and, when fit enough to return to duty, they were in greater need of replacement troops. John would not be killed in combat but was unlucky to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. He and his comrades were in billets in a factory at Bertry. At 5am, a German shell hit the factory. John and five others were killed outright. Another 15 Fusiliers were badly wounded.

As well as his commemorations in Macclesfield, John is remembered locally on the main town Memorial at Stockport's Art Gallery.

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