John BOHEN
Rank: Sergeant
Number: 205016
Unit: 5th Battalion King’s Shropshire Light Infantry
Date of Death: 22 October 1917
Age: 24
Cemetery: Tyne Cot Memorial, Zonnebeke, Belgium

John was born in the parish of St Matthew's Church, Stockport, the son of William Thomas  and Mary Hannah. In 1901, the family was living at 54 Carmichael Street, Edgeley (and later at No. 34). They had four children - John (8), Alice (5), Frederick (3) and William (11 months).

The family worshipped at St Matthew's Church and John had attended the Church's school. He had also been a member of the Church Lads' Brigade. In later life, John went to work as a fitter for Arundel and Co. Arundel's were ironfounders and machinists and had works on Albert Street, Stockport.

When John enlisted he joined the local Territorial Battalion of the Cheshire Regiment. The original 6th battalion had gone overseas in September 1914 and, immediately, a second line unit, the 2/6th Battalion was formed and this is what John joined, probably in the late spring of 1915. His service number was 2662. He must have proved to be a good shot as he was not sent to the Front but retained in the UK as a musketry instructor. At the beginning of 1917, he was given a new service number, 265810 and, on 26 September 1917, he finally went overseas. His War would be over within a month.

Even though an experienced soldier, John would have received training in France to prepare him for the front line and it will have been whilst undergoing this, that he will have been transferred to the Shropshires. They will have been in greater need of replacement troops.

Between the 12th and 15th October, the Shropshires were in a hutted reserve camp called Ridgewood, somewhere around the Belgian town of Ypres. John was part of one of two drafts of reinforcements totalling 107 men who arrived during this time. On the 16th, the Battalion moved up to support trenches north of the Menin Road, near Fitzclarence Wood and, on the 21st took over a section of the front line.

His mate, Quartermaster Sergeant Shrewe, wrote to the family telling them what happened "He was killed by a shell about 5.30am. He suffered no pain, death being instantaneous. It was a terrible blow to all of us. He upheld the true spirit of the British soldier."

His platoon commander, 2nd Lieutenant Jackson-Taylor also wrote "Although he had only been with us a week, I thought a great deal of him. He was always cheerful in the execution of his duty and I would always trust him to carry out an order to the letter. He died in the execution of his duty and what better death can a man have than that?" John Jackson-Taylor would be killed in action on 21 March 1918.

   
           
   
     
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