John Anderson WALBURN
Rank: Sapper
Number: 446946
Date of Death: 20 December 1917
Age: 34
Cemetery: Ribecourt British Cemetery, Ribecourt-la-Tour, Pas de Calais, France

The inscription on the Bredbury War Memorial indicates that John served with the Royal Marine Light Infantry but it has not been possible to discover any official documentation which would support this. He was a joiner by trade – just the sort of skill that the recruiting officers would identify for someone suitable to join the Royal Engineers. He had moved away from the area before the War and it is possible that those who compiled the list of names simply made an error.

Born in Dodsworth , Yorkshire, most of John’s family connections were with the county. His father, Thomas, was a railway signalman and it was his work, no doubt, that brought the family to live in the Bredbury area in about 1890. When the census was taken in 1901, they were living at 13 Station Road. However, by 1908, John had returned to Yorkshire and in that year he married Alice Metcalfe at Guisborough. They are believed to have lived at 28 Southmapton Street, Redcar.

Units of the Army were required to maintain a diary of their day-to-day activities and these are now held by the National Archives. However, it has been possible to trace a diary for the 22nd Field Company and the circumstances in which John died are now unknown.

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