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John Jenkinson was born in 1892 in Preston one of four children born to his parents Lawrence and Ellen Jenkinson (nee Marsden) who were married in the church of St. Thomas in Preston on the 25th May 1890. John had two sisters and one brother although one of his sisters died at the age of seven.

  • Jane (1891)
  • John (1892)*
  • Mary Laura (1894-1901)
  • Robert James (1898)

Sadly, John`s parents only had ten years together before his mother Ellen passed away in 1900. The Census recorded in 1901 shows Lawrence with his three children, Jane, John and Robert living with his wife`s parents John and Jane Marsden at 3 Fazackerley Street in Preston. Lawrence Jenkinson was working as a machine labourer at the time.

As a young lad John had been employed in the offices of Mr C Parker who was a house and estate agent in Preston. He later left his office job and prior to his enlistment went to work for Messrs. Monks who built pleasure boats in Preston.

Around 1910 John enlisted into the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment and by 1911 he was with the 1st Battalion stationed at Bhurtpore Barracks in Tidworth. His sister Jane married William Robinson Bennett not long after the 1911 Census was taken and two years later John`s brother Robert aged 15 years old joined the Royal Navy at Devonport.

John sailed to France with the initial deployment of the 1st Battalion on the 12th August 1914 as part of the 1st Division, his service number was 9960. Unfortunately his service papers are not available so information is limited but we do know that he attained the rank of Lance Corporal at some point.

On the 22nd October 1914 the 1st Battalion moved north to Boesinghe near Ypres in readiness for their part in the First Battle of Ypres. On the 22nd October they were ordered to march to Pilkem, reaching there just after dawn the following day. They were then ordered to attack the German trenches and as soon as it became light enough the Battalion moved forward to the attack.

“C” Company was on the right and “A” on the left advancing by sections under Major A J Carter. They advanced to within 300 yards of the trenches and then began to come under very heavy shell fire. The order to fix bayonets was given; a bugle sounded the charge and with loud cheers the Battalion dashed forward. In less than ten minutes the Battalion had carried the trenches and cleared them of the enemy. They took six hundred prisoners which would have been more had they not been hampered by our own artillery.

The Battalion was later relieved by a French Territorial Regiment and the 1st Battalion withdrew to Ypres, arriving there in the early morning of the 25th October.

In this action the Battalion had two Officers killed and another four wounded, while 178 other ranks were killed, wounded or missing. Sadly, it was later confirmed that John Jenkinson was one of the men who had perished in the attack on the 23rd October.

News of John`s death was eventually relayed to his sister Jane and her husband William Robinson Bennett in Preston after which the following appeared in the local paper.

9906 Lance Corporal John Jenkinson “C” Coy 1st Battalion

For his war service John was later awarded the 1914 Star and Clasp as well as the British War and Victory Medals.

John has no known grave and so his name was recorded on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial to the Missing. His name is also recorded on the Roll of Honour in the Harris Museum and Art Gallery in his home town of Preston (below).9906 Lance Corporal John Jenkinson “C” Coy 1st Battalion harris museum

Rank: Lance Corporal
Service No: 9960
Date of Death: 23/10/1914
Age: 22
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 1st Bn.

Additional Information: John’s war gratuity was split between his sister Jane, and brother Robert James Jenkinson,  No 317, Mess Z4, H.M.S Duke of Edinburgh.

Janet Davis
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