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John Code was born in Horwich, Bolton on 26th June 1894 and was the second son of George and Margeurite A Code. At the time of the 1901 census the family were living at 112 Chorley New Road, Horwich, but had moved to number 123 by 1911. They had a long term boarder, William Turton who worked with George for the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company.

1901 Census – 112 Chorley New Road.

George Code 47
Marguerite Code 43
Albert Code 21
Ethel Code 11
John Code 6
Emily Code 8
William Code 5
Philomena Code 3
William Turton 37

1911 Census – 123 Chorley New Road

George Code 57
Margeurite A Code 54
Ethel Code 21
Emily Code 19
John Code 16
William Code 15
Philomena Code 13
William Turton 47

On 1st June 1911, he enlisted in the 4th (Territorial) Battalion of the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment. He signed up four years service and was given the number 1295. John claimed he was 17 years 11 months old, he was in fact exactly a year younger than he stated. This was later discovered and John’s four year engagement restarted when he turned 18.

At the time of his enlistment in the Territorial Army John was working as a fitter with his father at the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company. He was living at 123, Chorley New Road, Horwich.

John attended the 4th Battalion mandatory training camps in 1911, 1912 and 1913; and the day after war was declared, on 5th August 1914 he was mobilised.


On the 4th May 1915 he sailed from Southampton to France with the initial deployment of the 1/4th Battalion on the S.S Onward.

S.S Onward

S.S Onward

On three occasions in June and July 1915 he was admitted into a field hospital due to boils and a problem with his right hip and groin. In September 1915 John was sent to Abbeville ‘for duty’ and remained there until February 1916 when he rejoined the Battalion. The reason for his detachment to Abbeville is not known but it was the site of the headquarters of the Commonwealth lines of communication and No.3 BRCS, No.5 and No.2 Stationary Hospitals.

John spent just over a year in France before sailing back to the UK on 22nd May 1916 for one weeks furlough of leave. A letter was sent from TF records on the 27th stating that Pte Code was about to become time expired and refused to re-engage. He didn’t return to France and was discharged from the Army on 31st May 1916.

For his war service John Code was awarded the 1914/15 Star, the British War Medal and Allied Victory Medal.

Altcar Firing Range

John continued his association with the Territorial Army and worked at the military firing range at Altcar, living in Bridge Cottage within the estate.



John Code with a group of soldiers at Altcar

John was appointed Range Foreman of Altcar in 1950 and held that position until he retired in 1962.  He was awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) in the New Years Honours list of 1957.

jcodePhotos of John Code B.E.M. at Altcar


John Code B.E.M. died in Crosby in 1966. He was 72 years old.

Paul McCormick
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