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car2John Cartwright (known as Jack) was born in Wymondham, Leicestershire in 1891 and was the son of John and Elizabeth Cartwright.

John and Elizabeth had several other children, May (1889), Elizabeth (1892), Kate (1894), Charles (1896), William (1897), Edward (1902), Emily (1903), Thomas (1905).

Jack`s father John Cartwright was a gamekeeper by trade and in the 1901 Census Jack and his father were living in with Sarah Speake a farmer at Clive Avenue, Church Stretton, Shropshire. Jack`s mother Elizabeth, the other children and her mother-in-law May Cartwright were living at Lower Forge, Cleobury Mortimer a small village about twenty five miles away.

The family seemed to move around the country quite a bit perhaps this was due to the nature of John Cartwright`s job as a gamekeeper. By the time of the 1911 Census Jack had moved on to Preston and was working as a railway lorry man. He was boarding with Thomas and Jane Cooper at 61 South Meadow Lane. Thomas Cooper was also working as a railway lorry man.

Jack`s parents together with children William, Edward, Emily and Thomas had also moved on in 1911 and were living in Thurnham, near Lancaster. His father was still working as a gamekeeper. Another brother Charles was in Bolton le Sands working as a farm labourer for farmers John and Diana Towler.

Jack attested at Preston on 28 November, 1915 and was put into the reserve. He gave his address as 8 Taylor Street, Preston. Jack named his father as his next of kin and gave his father`s address at that time as The Blockhouse, Ironbridge, Shropshire. The rest of Jack`s family had obviously returned to Shropshire again.

On the 12 August, 1916 Jack married Martha Alice Harratt at St. Marks Church in Preston. A daughter Jessie was born in 1917.

Jack was mobilised on 28 February, 1917 and posted to the 3rd Battalion. On the 20 June, 1917 he embarked at Folkestone bound for France. Two months later he was posted to the 9th Battalion joining them in the field on the 8 July.

On the 19 September, 1917 he was hospitalised for a while with trench fever. His papers are a bit difficult to follow at this point. However, they do show that Jack was admitted to hospital briefly again on 2 January, 1918.

Jack was then given a period of leave to the UK from 13-27 March, 1918. On his return from leave he went back to his Battalion in France.

Private Jack Cartwright was awarded the Military Medal on 29 May, 1918, the following article explains:


The 9th Battalion were disbanded in August 1918 and so Jack was posted to the 2/4th Battalion on the 9th August joining them in the field the following day.

Jack Cartwright was killed in action on 28 September, 1918. The Preston Guardian printed the following article.


Martha Alice Cartwright was awarded a pension of 20/5d per week for herself and one child with effect from 21 April, 1919. Martha did receive a couple of Jack`s personal effects which included a pocket case, religious book and 2 unopened letters. Unfortunately the authorities have date stamped over the list of effects making it difficult to read.

Jack`s mother Elizabeth sent the authorities a letter dated 29/12/20 in which she asks if they are going to return any of her son`s personal effects to her and she also pointedly remarked “I have lost 2 of 3(sons) in this greedy war”.

Jack was awarded the British War and Victory Medals and is buried with honour in Anneux British Cemetery.

Rank: Private
Service No: 36925
Date of Death: 28/09/1918
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 2nd/4th Bn.
Awards: M M

Additional family information: In her letter to the Authorities in 1920 Mrs Cartwright mentioned losing 2 of 3 sons. The other one was 242088 Private Charles Cartwright, 5th Battalion Border Regiment. Charles died on 12 May, 1917 aged 21 years. He is buried in Mont Huon Military Cemetery, Le Treport, Seine-Maritime, France. Le Treport was a major hospital area so Charles was possibly wounded and sent to hospital and then died there.


Janet Davis
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