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John Harry Hudson was born in Padiham, Burnley in 1896.

On 30th May 1913, 17 year old John Hudson entered the recruitment office in Padiham and enlisted for four years service in the Territorial Force. He was posted into the 5th Battalion of the East Lancashire Regiment and given the service number 1586.

John had previously been working as a weaver at Church Street Manufacturing Company, Padiham. He lived with his parents at 9 Palmerston Street.

On 13th June 1913, he attended his enlistment medical at Aldershot. John was described as being 17yrs 4mths old, 5ft 4in tall and of good physical development.

In August 1913, John attended a two week annual training camp at Aldershot, as part of his obligation as a Territorial soldier. In July/Aug 1914 he attended a one week camp in Carnarvon.

On 10th September 1914, John embarked on the transport ship ‘Deseado’ at Southampton bound for Alexandria, Egypt. They landed there fifteen days later.

On 1st March 1915, John was posted into the 9th (Service) Battalion. His service number now 36574.

On 5th May 1915, John left Egypt for Gallipoli, landing four days later.

In June 1915, in the Dardanelles, John was promoted to Lance Corporal, but made Acting Corporal (vice Corporal Duxbury who had been wounded). Whilst here he was admitted to hospital on at least two occasions as being sick with fever and joint problem (rhumatism). The following month he embarked for Southampton, transiting back via Alexandria. John arrived back in the UK in on 24th August 1915.

For the majority of 1916 he remained in the UK, now back with the 5th Battalion. John was in ‘C’ Coy, 3/5th Bn.

On 6th December 1916, John was transferred to the 2nd Battalion and posted out to France.

On 22nd June 1917, John was admitted to hospital having sustained a gunshot wound to his back. Following treatment in France, once his flesh wound had healed (without complication), he was send back to England on 1st July.

From 21st August – 11th October 1917 he was recovering at the Kings Lancashire Convelesent Hospital in Blackpool. Following 6 weeks of massage treatment in Blackpool, he was permitted a 10 day furlough of leave before returning to the Command depot.

That December, John was at Knowsley Park Camp, Prescot, Liverpool. John took the decision to write to his former Commanding Officer regarding a problem he was having with his rank;

Dear Sir,

I know I am taking liberty’s in writing to you, but when I explain my case, you may be able to do something for me. I am originally Regt No. 1586 Cpl. Hudson J.H. C Coy, 1/5th East Lancs. I was a Cpl from Pte on June 6th 1915 and have been paid Cpl ever since unto this last week, as it has just come through from Reports, Preston, that I am acting rank and my sub rank is Pte.

The Officer has made me take my stripes down. I came back from the Dardenelles with fever and since then I have been out to France with the 2nd Batt. East Lancs, and still kept my rank and have been in England 6 months wounded, and they tell me here they can’t do anything for me.

If you could do anything as regards getting my rank confirmed, I couldn’t thank you too much.

Sir, I was promoted in the Field for Bravery on June 4th, when the 1/5th suffered so badly. If you care to know anything about me, I know Lt Baxter will let you know, as he was my platoon officer at the time. Also, RSM Aslem will know me very well.

If it is in your Power to do anything for me, I should be grateful to you.

Thanking you in anticipation,  I am Sir, Your’s obediently

(Sgd) 36574 Pte Hudson J.H.; 2nd East Lancs Regt,

Luckily for John, his former CO was only too willing to help;

Reference attached letter.

I would be glad if you would show this NCO in Part II orders as holding substantive rank of Corporal from the date of his promotion to Cpl, as he did very good service in the field at the time and it was the intention of his Commanding Officer that he should hold substantive rank.

(Sgd) Cecil Clare, Lieut. Col. Comdg, 1/5th East Lancs Regt.

On 17th January 1918, John received a regimental entry for misconduct. After a military tattoo, he had overstayed his leave by one day, and was fined a days pay.

On 26th January 1918, John married Mary Ann Connerty in Southport. They were now living together at 29 Kingsmill Street, Southport.

Four days after the wedding, John sailed for Salonika, landing on 15th February. He had now been transferred back to the 9th Battalion.

On 29th September 1918, still in Salonika. He was admitted to hospital for dysentry.

On 9th October 1918, John received a bounty of £15 under Army Order 209 of 1916.

In the last quarter of 1918, Mary gave birth to their daughter Patricia.

John was disembodied upon demobilisation on 15th June 1919.

For his war service, Corporal John Harry Hudson was awarded the 1914/15 star, British War Medal and Victory Medal.

Paul McCormick
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