John Albert WOODWARD
Rank: Private
Number: 3559
Unit: 1/6th Battalion CHESHIRE Regiment
Date of Death: 13 February 1916
Age: 26
Cemetery: Dartmoor Cemetery, Becordel-Becourt, Somme, France

There is no trace on the 1901 Census of a John Woodward, of the right age, born locally, but by 1914 he was living at 8 Bosden Street, Stockport with his wife and two children. He was employed in a Manchester mill as a "night doubler".

His service number suggests he enlisted in the autumn of 1914 and will have gone on active service sometime during 1915. After a period of several months away from the front line, the Battalion returned to the trenches on 12 February 1916, relieving the 8th Devons in positions near Fricourt. Fricourt is some 6 kilometres from the town of Albert in the heart of what would be the Somme battlefield.  Two companies went into the front line, with one in support and another in reserve, a little way to the rear. The trenches were in a poor state and collapsing due to the heavy rain. Two men were killed the first day. The next day, John was hit by a piece of shrapnel from a German shell and died almost instantaneously.

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