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haslam1John Haslam was born in Kirkham in 1893 and he was the son of William and Ann Haslam (nee Gardner). John`s parents were married on New Year`s Day 1891 in St. Michael`s Church, Kirkham. William and Ann had nine children but sadly three of them died in infancy.

The surviving children were Agnes (1891), Lawrence (1895), Joseph (1897), Alice (1898) and Edith May (1901).

In 1901 the family were living at 100 Marsden Street which was a terraced property in the centre of Kirkham. John`s father William was working as a bricklayer. In late December, 1906 William Haslam passed away at the age of 36, he was buried on the 2nd January, 1907 at St. Michael`s Church in Kirkham.

When the 1911 Census was taken John was with his widowed mother Ann and his five siblings at 12 Marsden Street, Kirkham, possibly the same house as before but it may have been renumbered. The family had also taken in a lodger; Ann Davis aged 37 years, a single lady from Elswick. Apart from John`s mother Ann and the youngest child Edith May, all the others including the lodger were employed as weavers in one of the local cotton mills.

John and his younger brother Lawrence went to enlist in September 1914 probably after the call to arms made at the big recruiting rally in the town`s Market Square at the end of August. The two brothers would then have made the eight mile journey to Preston to sign up. The newspaper article below informs us that John was rejected for service at this time but it seems as though his younger brother Lawrence was accepted. No doubt it would have been a long trek back home to Kirkham for a disappointed John Haslam.

Unfortunately John`s service papers do not appear to have survived so the only information available is from his Medal Index Card and the newspaper article below.

In May 1915 he went to enlist again this time going to the recruiting office with his youngest brother Joseph who had just turned 18. John`s second attempt was successful and he was allocated the service number 20965 and Joseph the number 20969.

After a period of training the brothers were both posted to the 6th Battalion and sent out to Mesopotamia together with a batch of reinforcements on the 14th November, 1915.

In August 1916 the Military Authorities informed Mrs Haslam that her son John had been missing since the 23rd May, 1916. She would later be informed that for official purposes he was presumed to have died on or around that date.

Private John Haslam`s body was never found and recovered so his name was recorded on the Basra Memorial. John was awarded the 1915 Star, British War and Victory Medals.
Rank: Private
Service No: 20965
Date of Death: 23/05/1916
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 6th Bn.

Additional family information
haslam320969 Private Joseph Haslam 6th Battalion. Joseph was killed in action on 1 February, 1917. Joseph`s body was never recovered either and his name was also recorded on the Basra Memorial next to his brother John. He received the 1915 Star, British War and Victory Medals.

Joseph`s service papers have not survived so no further information is available at this time.

haslam412788 Private Lawrence Haslam, Loyal North Lancs, Battalion unknown. Lawrence embarked sometime after January 1916. He saw service in France and he survived the war. He was discharged on 14 December, 1918 under Para 392 (XXVA) Surplus to military requirements (not having suffered impairment since entry into the Service). Lawrence was awarded the British War and Victory Medals.

Lawrence married Annie Rose Gorman at St. John`s Parish Church, Preston in 1921. He died at 50 Marsden St. Kirkham on 20 June, 1957 aged 62 years and is buried in St. Michael`s Church, Kirkham.


John and Joseph Haslam are also both remembered on the Kirkham War Memorial.



Janet Davis
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