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John Williams was 27 years old when he traveled to Liverpool and enlisted in the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment. He signed for a three year short service engagement on 5th September 1914, and was posted into the 10th Battalion and given the service number 14238.

Prior to the war he had been working as a labourer. John had a brother called Leonard and a sister called Hilda. His parents were both deceased. John had no previous military experience.

John and his siblings all lived around the Wrexham area. Hilda his sister was married (Tyler) and lived at Garden Villa, Cefn-Y-Bedd, and Leonard was living at Brook cottage, Llangollen.

At his enlistment medical John was described as being 5ft 9in tall, weighing 133lbs, he had brown hair and brown eyes and was of fresh complexion. He had a scar over his right eyebrow.

Whilst the Division were training in Eastborne, John was caught as being absent from midnight 10th November, to 09:45hrs on 11th November 1915. He was deducted one days pay.

Within the 10th Battalion, John qualified as a machine gunner.

John was killed on 26th June 1916, his sister Hilda was listed as his next of kin and received notification of his death.

10th Battalion War Diary

23rd June 1916 

The 10th Bn Loyal North Lancashire Regiment relieved the 6th Bedfords in the trenches at 17:30hrs, relief being completed at 19:15hrs.

24th June 1916

This morning we heavily bombarded the enemy lines opposite Gommecourt – this bombardment lasted all day. At 16:30hrs the firing ceased and aeroplanes went up to see what damage was done. Trenches in a bad muddy condition.

25th June 1916

Enemy active with minenwerfer and large shells. Heavy bombardment practically all day both on our immediate front and on the following points; Essarts, Pigeon Wood, La Brayelle Fme, the ‘Z’ and Gommecourt.

26th June 1916

Another severe bombardment by our artillery, enemies reply much feebler than preceding day. Trenches still in a very bad condition, rained 2 or 3 times during the day.

27th June 1916

Bombardment in the morning. At 14:00hrs we discharged some gas – the enemy retaliated with great vigour. Casualties up to date: 46 other ranks.

John is remembered in the  BIENVILLERS MILITARY CEMETERY.

Photo by Janet Davis - July 2016

Photo by Janet Davis – July 2016

Rank: Private
Service No: 14238
Date of Death: 26/06/1916
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 10th Bn.
Cemetery: BIENVILLERS MILITARY CEMETERY,  II. C. 1.

 

 

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Paul McCormick

Paul McCormick is the creator and administrator for the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment website. Since 2010 he has been researching the soldiers that served during the First World War and sharing their stories on his website. You can contact Paul through the website 'Contact Me' page or on Twitter and Facebook.
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