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Jonathan Hesmondhalgh was born in Preston in 1897 and was the son of Richard and Elizabeth Ann Hesmondhalgh (nee Ward).

Richard and Elizabeth Ann married in 1883 in the Longridge/Preston area. A son Robert was born in 1884 then daughters Margaret Alice in 1889 and Martha in 1894. Jonathan was their youngest child.

In 1901 the family were living in Ribbleton Road in Preston. Unfortunately Elizabeth Ann Hesmondhalgh died just 3 years later in 1904.

Jonathan`s father Richard remarried to a Margaret Ward in St. Luke’s Church, Preston in 1911 just prior to the 1911 Census being taken.

The 1911 Census then shows Jonathan working as a wood worker for a local bobbin manufacturer. He was living at 2 Smith Street, Preston with his father Richard, stepmother Margaret and another boy also named Jonathan who was 8 years old.

Jonathan enlisted on 30 September, 1914 and was posted to “B” Coy, 2/4th Battalion. He was given the service number 2763 which would later be changed to 200723. He confirmed his address at the time was 34 Fletcher Road, Preston.

His medical inspection report reveals that Jonathan was 5`9” tall. He had a 35 inch chest, good physical development and good vision.

On 15 July, 1915 Jonathan was promoted to Lance Corporal.

Unfortunately on 25 April, 1916 he was deprived of his lance stripe and also forfeited 2 days’ pay for overstaying a pass. Jonathan obviously kept out of trouble after this misdemeanour because in October the same year he was appointed Lance Corporal again.

On 2 February, 1917 Jonathan set sail with the 2/4th Battalion bound for France. A couple of months after arriving in France he was further promoted to Corporal.

Just 2 months later on 11 June, 1917 Jonathan was wounded and taken to 54 Casualty Clearing Station where he later died of multiple gunshot wounds

The following report and photograph appeared in the local paper a short while later.


Richard Hesmondhalgh signed for his son`s effects which included the following:-

  • 50 letters/photos
  • 1 pocket book
  • Picture postcards
  • 1 fountain pen/1 stylo pen
  • 1 cigarette case/1 tobacco pouch
  • 1 pair of scissors
  • 1 whistle

Corporal Jonathan Hesmondhalgh was awarded the British War and Victory Medals and is buried with honour in Estaires Communal Cemetery and Extension, Nord, France.

Rank: Corporal
Service No: 200723
Date of Death: 11/06/1917
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 2nd/4th Bn.

This post was researched and published by Janet Davis

Janet Davis
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