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John Edward Forshaw was born in Freckleton in 1897 the son of Robert and Ellen Clifton Forshaw (nee Harrison).

At some time between the 1901 and 1911 Census the family left Freckleton and moved to 1 Houghton’s Court, Kirkham. The 1911 Census confirms his father Robert Forshaw had died and John was living with his mother Ellen, sister Ann Jane and brother Thomas and that John was employed as a weaver at the Co-op Mill.

John enlisted on 1st September, 1914 at Preston joining the 8th Battalion of the Loyal North Lancs Regiment. His papers show his apparent age as 19, he was in fact just 17 years old and described as 5`9”, 121 lbs with a 34 inch chest, brown eyes and hair and a fair complexion.

On the 25th September, 1915 John embarked for France by which time he would have been 18 years old.

On the 1st March, 1917 John was appointed unpaid Lance Corporal while he was with the 8th Battalion and then further appointed as paid Lance Corporal.

On the 10th February, 1918 six days before the 8th Battalion were officially disbandedhe was posted to 2/4th Battalion of the LNL.

Dated 12th May, 1918 his papers then show Gas Shell `W` and John was taken to one of the hospitals at Rouen where he died just four days later on 16th May, 1918. The following report appeared in the Preston Guardian on Saturday, 25th May, 1918.


“Mrs. Forshaw, Marsden Street, Kirkham, has been officially notified of the death from wounds on May 16th of her second son Lance Corpl. John Forshaw, signaller, Loyal North Lancs Regt. He enlisted shortly after the outbreak of war and had served in France for the past three years. He was 17 years of age when he joined the Army, prior to which he was employed at the Co-op Mill”.

John is buried at the St. Sever Cemetery Extension, Rouen, Plot Q. II.H.15 and is also remembered with honour on the Kirkham War Memorial.

On the 13th August, 1918 the Officer in Charge, Infantry Records, Preston returned the following personal items to his mother Ellen Forshaw which included letters, photographs, 1 pipe, religious medallion, 1 packet religious cards, 1 cloth wallet, 1 cigarette case, 1 pair of scissors, 1 pocket knife and 1 penny.

John Edward Forshaw was awarded the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal.

Rank: Lance Corporal
Service No: 12992
Date of Death: 15/05/1918
Age: 20
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 2nd/4th Bn.

The research into this soldier was completed by Janet Davis. Many thanks.

Janet Davis
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One Response to 12292 PTE. J. E. FORSHAW. L.N.LAN.R

  1. wendy harris says:

    Hi, today is april 25th a day which is revered in australian history, I found this website by accident my grandfather was Pte.Jospeh Millington Godin 10707 who was with the loyal north lancashire inf. regiment he was captured on 21/12/14 at La Bassee and was released from the pow camp at merseburg I dont have the release date i have some information and 2 old photos if you would like to contact me at the above email address perhaps i can let you know more, it was a wonderful surprise to come upon all of this information,my grandaughter is in the army cadets here and she wore her great grandfathers medals this morning at the dawn service commorating the centenary of anzac day the landing at gallipoli,
    kind regards,wendy harris

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