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imageJohn Henry Adams was born in Chorley in 1881 and was the youngest of five children born to Henry and Alice Adams (nee Statham).

Henry and Alice were married in St. Peter`s Church in Chorley on the 29 December, 1867. At the time of their marriage Alice already had a three year old daughter Mary Jane who was born in 1864.

A year after they married a son James arrived (1868) and then came George Henry (1873-1873), Caroline (1874), Margaret (1876) and finally John Henry in 1881*

John`s brother James and his sister Caroline had both married by 1901 so only John and his other sister Margaret were still living with their parents at 6 Waterloo Street in Chorley. John was employed locally in the floor cloth works and his father Henry was a labourer.

On the 12 February, 1903 he married local girl Selina Kershaw at St. George`s Church in Chorley and two years later they had a daughter Elsie. In 1911 John, Selina and their six year old daughter Elsie were living at 23 Water Street in Chorley. John was still labouring at the floor cloth works and Selina was working as a weaver in a cotton mill. The couple`s second daughter Jenny was born in October 1913 in Chorley.

John enlisted into the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment on the 5 September, 1914 at Chorley aged 32 years and 8 months. At his medical inspection it was noted that he was five feet four and a half inches tall and he weighed 116lbs. He had a fresh complexion, blue eyes and brown hair. He was allocated the service number 13520 and posted to the 10th Battalion.

He sailed from England on the evening of the 31 July, 1915 with the 10th Battalion and disembarked in Boulogne at 2am the following morning. By the end of January 1916 he had been promoted to Lance Corporal (paid).
John was wounded during the opening days of the Battle of the Somme. The 10th Battalion had arrived at Albert on the 7 July, 1916 and had gone into the trenches at Tara Hill on the 11th July. At the time the enemy were peppering them with gas shells.

The War Diary notes the following day…..
12th July 1916 – Trenches Tara Hill
Today the enemy much more active, we sustained many casualties including Capt. Dryden, Capt. Dennys, 2Lt Bee, 2Lt Atkinson, 2Lt Squibb, 2Lt Woolley.

John was removed to a field ambulance and then back to number 13 General Hospital. By the 22 July he was on his way back to England via Boulogne on board the hospital ship St. Denis. The following day he was admitted to the 2nd East General Hospital in Brighton.

Sadly John only survived for another five days and died of his wounds in the hospital in Brighton on the 28 July, 1916.

His body was returned home to Chorley and he was later laid to rest in the town`s main Cemetery.​​​


John`s widow Selina was awarded a pension of 15/6s per week for herself and their two daughters with effect from 29 January, 1917.

Selina would later receive her husband`s entitlement of the 1915 Star, British War and Victory Medals.

Janet Davis
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