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Tony Foster kindly shared the following research, thank you.

John Henry Alston was the son of Robert Hutchinson Alston and Ann (nee Knowles) and was born in Darwen 1886.

In Summer 1914 he married Mary Alice McNicholas.

1911 Census: 16 Liverpool Rd Rose Grove Burnley: Collier Coal Miner Hewer

1901 Census: 23 Gordon St. Darwen: Drawer in

1891 Census: Blackburn Workhouse: Papuer

John enlisted in the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment at Darwen. He gave his address at this time as being 79 Dove Lane, Darwen.

He was posted into the 9th Battalion with the service number 13636 and sailed to France with them on 25th September 1915.

On 19th January 1916 the 9th Battalion supported an attack by the 2nd Battalion Irish Rifles on the LE TOUQUET SALIENT. The 9th Battalion were detailed to cause a diversion by a feint attack from trenches 95 – 102 by delivering a gas attack, with rifle, machine gun and grenade fire. The faux attack was successfully carried out although two men were killed, one being Private Alston and the other Private Del. Lieutenant John Henton Pullin was also severely injured and died of his wounds two days later.

The Darwen News published the following report on Saturday 5th February, 1916; 

Private James (sic) Henry Alston 

Information has been received by his wife at 9 Dover Street, that her husband Private James (sic) Henry Alston has died of wounds. Private Alston, who was 27 years of age, enlisted in September 1914, and previous to that was employed as a collier at Hoddlesden Colliery. He was a member of Chapels Conservative Club. He had only been married a month before war broke out.

John Altson was buried at Gunners Farm Military Cemetery (plot J.8.) and rests alongside Lance Serjeant Alfred Boulton (plot J.7) who was killed by a stray bullet ten days later.

Rank: Private
Service No: 13636
Date of Death: 19/01/1916
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 9th Bn.

Paul McCormick
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