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John a.k.a. Jack Gregson was born in Preston on the 15th February 1897 to Joseph and Margaret Alice Gregson (nee Chambers). His parents married in Preston in 1889 and they had eight children, five of whom survived;
- Mary Edith (1890-1890)
- William (1892)
- Joseph (1893-1894)
- Alice Ann (1895)
- John (1897)*
- Joseph (1899-1903)
- Frank (1907)
- Bertram (1908)
In 1891 Jack`s parents lived at 66 Upper Kent Street in Preston where Joseph was listed as a mechanic and Margaret a cotton weaver. By 1901 the Gregson family had moved to 108 St. James Street South and in this Census Jack`s father is recorded as being a musician.
On the 2nd May 1904 Jack started his school life at the age of 7 attending St. Augustine`s Roman Catholic School in Preston where he remained until the 21st March 1910 before going into full time work. By 1911 Jack and his family had moved house again, this time to 30 Lex Street in Preston. His father was working as an Assurance Club Collector, brother William was a `drawer in` (cotton mill), sister Alice was a cotton weaver and 14 year old John was a messenger boy in a warehouse.
Unfortunately Jack`s service papers are not available so precise information on the timing of his enlistment is uncertain but he did volunteer, enlisting into the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment with the service number 203522. Prior to his enlistment he had been employed as a `boot-clicker` at Berry`s Kent Street factory in Preston. The family had also moved house again and by the time Jack enlisted they were living at 47 Fishwick View in Preston.
From later information it would appear that Jack went to France in around February/March 1917 and at some point thereafter he joined “B” Coy of the 10th Battalion LNL.
On the 15th October 1917 the Battalion, together with the 8th Battalion of the East Lancashire Regiment moved into Ypres for work on the roads. Whilst here they were temporarily attached to the III Australian Corps. The first half of December was spent in the front and support trenches just outside of Ypres at La Clytte and during the early morning of the 9th December, the garrison of one of the posts held by the Battalion became involved in a heavy enemy raid.
Extract from the Battalion War Diary – 9th December 1917
“At 3.30 a.m. the enemy raided our No. 7 Post and received a good reception. The post was approached by two parties on the north and south, a barrage being put down just behind the post, and under cover of this the wire was cut and the raiders attacked. The garrison of the posts consisted of 25238 Cpl J. Grindrod (in charge), 32897 Pte. G.E. White, 31792 Pte J. Linton, 31957 Pt. J. Crompton and 203522 Pte J. Gregson. As soon as the bombs began to fall and the raiders were seen, the garrison rushed forward to meet them. Private White engaged single-handed two of the enemy, and though severely wounded by the butts of rifles and with his head cut open, he fought on and eventually killed one and took the other – a Sergeant Major – prisoner. One cannot speak too highly of this man`s determination and gallantry, and his action was undoubtedly responsible for the success. Corporal Grindrod displayed coolness and judgement, working his Lewis gun with deadly effect, and he was most ably supported by the rest of the garrison who beat off the attack, causing very heavy losses – three being killed and two captured. The strength of the raiding party was from twenty to twenty five. As the party retreated Corporal Grindrod followed them firing his Lewis Gun and caused several more casualties.
It is hard to estimate the destruction done owing to the swampy and almost impassable nature of the ground. 2/Lt C.F. Catterall was in command of this group of posts and displayed coolness, judgement and initiative showing a ready grasp of the situation and posting his men accordingly. The dispositions of his men during the attack were excellent and had the enemy attempted a further attack, they would have been met with the same resolute spirit and suffered a severe reverse”.
In late December 1917 the news that Jack was to be awarded the Military Medal for his part in repelling the enemy raid filtered back to his family in Preston and the following announcement was made in the Preston Guardian;
On the 21st March 1918 the German Spring Offensive (Operation Michael) began and the following day Jack was captured and taken prisoner. The Prisoner of War records state that he was captured at Hargincourt (Aisne) and that by the 18th April 1918 he was an inmate at Munster II Prisoner of War Camp in Germany. After originally being posted as missing in action, Jack was able to send a postcard home to let his family know that he was still alive and was now a prisoner of war. The Lancashire Evening Post reporting;
3rd May 1918 – Lancashire Evening Post
“Mrs M.A. Gregson, 47 Fishwick View, Preston, has received a postcard from her son Private Jack Gregson, LNL Regiment, from Limburg in Germany, stating that he was taken prisoner on March 22nd. Private Gregson was previously reported missing. He was awarded the Military Medal and later a bar to the medal for gallant work in action. Before joining he was employed at Mr. J. Berry`s Kent Street works as a boot clicker. His father and brother are both serving in the Royal Defence Corps, his father being bandmaster of the West Lancs National Reserve before they were mobilised”.
According to the Red Cross POW records, Jack was an inmate at a camp at Metz from the end of May 1918 where, according to later information, he remained until the French arrived and took possession of the camp.
Three weeks after the Armistice was declared Jack was on his way back to England, arriving in Dover with a number of other repatriated prisoners of war on the 1st December 1918.
On the morning of the 14th December 1918 Jack was presented with his Military Medal on the steps of the Town Hall in Preston. The Lancashire Evening Post once again reporting;
14th December 1918 – Lancashire Evening Post
PUBLIC PRESENTATION OF MILITARY MEDAL TO PRESTONIAN
“This morning the Mayor of Preston (Alderman Cartmell) from the Town Hall steps, presented the Military Medal to Private J. Gregson, 10th L.N.L., 47 Fishwick View, Preston who was one of five men who when in an advanced post were surprised by a German patrol 30 strong. “They meant to take the post” said the Mayor, but instead “the post took the patrol. The five men took the 30, and in that way they found out from the prisoners that an attack was intended on the following day, and they prevented it. The five were all awarded the Military Medal, and I understand that in addition to the medal now to be presented, Private Gregson is recommended for the bar” (cheers from the crowd).
The Mayor further explained that Gregson was taken prisoner at St. Quentin on March 22nd. He was removed to Metz where he remained until the French took possession.”
After the war Jack was also awarded the British War and Victory Medals in recognition of his service for his country.
On the 1st September 1924 John Gregson, son of Joseph Gregson, a musician, married Jane Carr the daughter of grocer William Henry Carr at St. Matthew`s Church in Preston. The couple do not appear to have had any children.
In 1939 Jack and Jane were living at 127 Ribbleton Avenue in Preston and Jack was still working as a boot and shoe operative.
Jack passed away in 1972 at the age of 75, his wife Jane having passed away eight years earlier in 1964.
Photograph of John Gregson reproduced with the kind permission of Shelagh and Neil Graham, John was Shelagh`s paternal Great Uncle.
Janet Davis has been researching her family history for many years and through this she discovered many relatives who served in WW1. This interest then led Janet to do many walking the battlefield tours with her husband. In April 2013 she discovered this website and volunteered to help. Janet believes that there are lots of stories still to be told, most of them very sad but at the same time they are a fascinating insight into the men, their families, what they did and where they came from.
(This post has been visited 241 times in the last 90 days)
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- 12153 PTE. H. DAGGER. L.N.LAN.R 3 Comments
- 12638 PTE. W. HANLON. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 12641 PTE. R. STOPFORTH. L.N.LAN.R 1 Comment
- 12703 LCPL. W. H. SMITH. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 12736 PTE. J. ROSCOE. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
- 12739 PTE. J. HACKING. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
- 12741 PTE. E. MCPARTLIN. L.N.LAN.R. 1 Comment
- 12746 CPL. T. DOWNS. L.N.LAN.R. 1 Comment
- 12774 SJT. T. CROSS. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
- 12784 LSJT. A. DANSON. L.N.LAN.R 1 Comment
- 12874 PTE. R. WALSH. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 12883 PTE. T. H. BAINES. L.N.LAN.R 2 Comments
- 12944 PTE. W. MOSS. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 12949 PTE. H. LEAVER. L.N.LAN.R 2 Comments
- 12976 SJT. H. P. MAKIN. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
- 13115 PTE. C. J. STEWART. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 13229 PTE. G. HESKETH. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 13245 PTE. T. WHALLEY. L.N.LAN.R. 1 Comment
- 13284 PTE. H. NIGHTINGALE. L.N.LAN.R 3 Comments
- 13394. SGT. W. HOLME. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 13395 PTE. A. GRAY. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
- 13421. PTE. W. MEE. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 13426 LCPL. J. PEAK. L.N.LAN.R 7 Comments
- 13458 CPL. F. SWALES. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 13460 CPL. W. HALLIWELL. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
- 13470 SJT. W. E. BUTLER. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 13530 LCPL. J. H. ADAMS. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 13588 SGT. J. ROTHERHAM. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 13693 PTE. W. LORD. L.N.LAN.R 2 Comments
- 13814 PTE. J. BILLINGTON. L.N.LAN.R 1 Comment
- 13831 PTE. A. HANRAHAN. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 13881 PTE. A. E. FISHER. L.N.LAN.R 1 Comment
- 13896 PTE. G. WOODCOCK. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
- 13911 PTE. T. H. TAYLOR. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
- 13985 PTE. R. SEYMOUR L. N. LAN. R. 0 Comments
- 13994 PTE. S. BRIGGS. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 14000 PTE. T. ATKINSON. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 14017 PTE. J. BOTTOMLEY. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 14041 CPL. G. T. WHITTLE. L.N.LAN.R. 2 Comments
- 14173 PTE. T. NELSON. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
- 14179 PTE. J. SWARBRICK. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 14193 PTE. T. HATCH. L.N.LAN.R 2 Comments
- 14238 PTE. J. WILLIAMS. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 15111 PTE. A. FERGUSON. L.N.LAN:R 0 Comments
- 15490 PTE. L. BIRD. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 15628 PTE. A. WISEMAN. L.N.LAN.R 2 Comments
- 15666 PTE. T. HIGSON. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
- 15709. PTE. T. POWER. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 15750 PTE. W. BAILEY. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 15793 CPL. T. A. HOGARTH. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
- 15821 WOII. E. O'HARA. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 16346 SJT. J. NUTTALL. L.N.LAN 2 Comments
- 16419 LCPL. G. ELLISON. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
- 16637 SJT. F. TAYLOR. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 16739 PTE. R. PENDLEBURY. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
- 16757 PTE. W. BILSBOROUGH. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 16762 PTE. R. CLEGG. L.N.LAN.R 2 Comments
- 16780 PTE. A. RABY. L.N.LAN.R 2 Comments
- 16915 PTE. J. R. HAYES. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 17462 PTE. J. CLARKE. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 17534 PTE. R. HALSHAW. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
- 17615 PTE. J. LOWE. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
- 18116 CPL. T. H. HOOPER. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 18995 CPL. J. WALTON. L.N.LAN.R 4 Comments
- 19574 PTE. R. DERBYSHIRE. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
- 19736 PTE. J. J. BARNES. L.N.LAN.R 1 Comment
- 19781 PTE. A. RIGBY. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
- 19812 PTE. R. GILLETT. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 200402 PTE. T. MCCUE. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 201732 PTE. H. WILSON. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 20202 PTE. C. PICKLES. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
- 203470 PTE. E. DALEY. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 203522 PTE. J. GREGSON. L.N.LAN.R. 2 Comments
- 203593 PTE. A. BRIERLEY. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
- 2037 PTE. R. SUTTON. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 21607 CPL. C. DUNN. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 22357 PTE. J. BRETLAND. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 22405 PTE. W. MILLER. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
- 22501 PTE. T. JACKSON. L.N.LAN.R 1 Comment
- 22615 PTE. L. CARDWELL. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
- 22715 PTE. J. ROBINSON. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
- 22797 PTE. W. JACKSON. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 23195 PTE. H. DAWSON. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
- 23579 PTE. W. HELMN. L.N.LAN.R 1 Comment
- 241301 PTE. A. NUTTALL. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
- 24615 PTE. A. J. MOSS. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
- 24648 PTE. J. DOOLAN. L.N.LAN.R. 4 Comments
- 24683 LCPL. R. BLEASE. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 25307 PTE. T. BARNES. L.N.LAN.R 2 Comments
- 25413 PTE. E. A. BARKER. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
- 25724 PTE. F. KEEN. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 25748 PTE. H. HALL. L.N.LAN.R 2 Comments
- 25858 PTE. J. DUNN. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 27588 PTE. R. PHILLIPSON. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 27612 PTE. A. J. DAMSELL. L.N.LAN.R 1 Comment
- 27627 PTE. S. TITTENSOR. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
- 27639 PTE. R. BANKS. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 28739 PTE. H. MERCER. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 29717 PTE. G. H. BELLAMY. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
- 2nd Lieutenant Reginald Frederick Squibb 3 Comments
- 2nd Lt. Claude Arthur Stephen Bidwell 3 Comments
- 2nd Lt. Harold Stephen Boxer 1 Comment
- 32033 PTE. W. HARRISON. L.N.LAN.R. 5 Comments
- 32491 PTE. A. JELLICOE. L.N.LAN.R. 1 Comment
- 33198 PTE. J. LEAVER. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 33813 PTE. F. J. BARKER. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 33859 CPL. T. H. MAXFIELD. L.N.LAN.R 2 Comments
- 33921 LCPL. A. W. BULL. L.N.LAN.R. 0 Comments
- 34090 PTE N. S. TOWNSLEY. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 36921 PTE. G. PEMBERTON. L.N.LAN.R 1 Comment
- 3737 WO II. J. LAWTON. L.N.LAN.R 0 Comments
- 6446 SGT. W. EDDLESTON. L.N.LAN.R 2 Comments
- Captain Francis Desmond Talbot Coke 11 Comments
- Captain George William Ainsworth 7 Comments
- Captain James Arthur Gravett 2 Comments
- Captain Leo Jude 0 Comments
- Captain Richard Molesworth Dennys 2 Comments
- Lieutenant William Enoch Crossley 0 Comments
- Maj. Alexander McCallum Webster 1 Comment
- QM & Lt. J. Watkinson M.C. 1 Comment
- The case of Serjeant James Hetherington Pearson 0 Comments
- The Durham Brothers 2 Comments
- The Pitcher Brothers of Preston 0 Comments
- Second Lieutenant James Albert Tinsley DCM MM
- 242529 LCPL. R. MONKS. L.N.LAN.R.
- The Royse Brothers of Bolton
- 426279 ACPL. W. H. THOMAS. R.E.
- 13509 PTE. A. FARNWORTH. L.N.LAN.R.
- 201200 PTE. T. ALMOND. L.N.LAN.R.
- 3745 PTE. W. NELSON. L.N.LAN.R.
- 23580 PTE. J. H. SHARPLES. L.N.LAN.R.
- 25872 PTE. G. A. RABY. L.N.LAN.R.
- 203806 PTE. J. ROBERTS. L.N.LAN.R.
.. all they found were the remnants of German sentries blown to bits by our shells, and two live Germans who they bayoneted, bringing back no prisoners dead or alive.
10th Battalion War Diary
In the trenches near Bienvillers - 4th June 1916
- .. all they found were the remnants of German sentries blown to bits by our shells, and two live Germans who they bayoneted, bringing back no prisoners dead or alive. 10th Battalion War Diary
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