John had been born in Stockport and was living in the town when he enlisted into the army. He joined up at Burley-in-Wharfedale, Yorkshire but it is not known when. His very early service suggests that he was probably an ex-regular soldier who was recalled as a reservist when war was declared in August 1914.
Information supplied by the Regimental Museum indicates that he went overseas on active service on 5 October 1914. This must have been with the 2nd Battalion, as the 1st Battalion did not return from India until January 1915. As such, John was one of the "Old Contemptibles", fighting before 22nd November. It refers to an Order of the Day issued by the Kaiser to the German Army to "exterminate first the treacherous English; walk over General French's contemptible little army".
He was reported to have been wounded in the left wrist on 25 September 1915 and it is possible that this led to his death nearly 10 months later.
It is more likely, however, that he recovered from that wound and, when fit again, was transferred to the 1st Battalion. He was again wounded at some point and it was sufficient for it be a "Blighty wound" - serious enough for him to be returned to the UK. It's not known if he was in a military hospital when he died, or had returned to Stockport.
In its edition of 19 July 1917, the Stockport Express published an "In memorium" notice from his "sorrowful mother", living at 16 King Street West, Stockport.
"He did not stand to reason
When first the war began
But went and did his duty
Like a soldier and a man"