Jack Gerrel


About Jack (John)

  • Name
    Jack (John)
  • Initials
  • Surname
  • Date of Birth
    17 April 1897
  • Birth town
    Raydon Southwold Suffolk
  • Resided town
    Raydon Suffolk and Wood Green Middlesex
  • Commemorated
  • Nationality
  • Place of death
    Wood Green
  • Date of death
  • Married
  • Occupation

Service Information

  • Army

  • Service Number
  • Rank
  • Regiment
    Machine Gun Corps


John Harry Gerrel was born on 17 April 1897, in Raydon, Southwold, Suffolk to parents James William, a horseman on a farm and Laura Louisa (nee Burrows).  In 1901, John (3) lived at Halesworth Road, Reydon with James (39), Laura (38) and siblings Lilly (9), Arthur (7), Ethel (5) and William (1).  The family remained at the same address in 1911 but only three children were living with their parents, Arthur James (17) farm labourer and John Harry (13) and William Frederick (11) both at school.

John’s service record could not be located but his Royal Tank Corps enlistment record reveals that John, also known as Jack, joined the Suffolk Regiment on 5 August 1914, the day after war was declared.  He served with Machine Gun Corps Motor Transport from 17 June 1916 to 15 August 1919, when he was demobilised.  During this period he served with the British Expeditionary Force from 24 September 1916 to 28 May 1919.  He was wounded in October 1916.  He was awarded the British War and Victory medals.

Following the end of World War 1, Jack signed on again in February 1920, initially joining the 4th Hussars and then the Royal Tank Corps.  He served in India from 7 September 1921; he was at the Cavalry Depot in December 1924 and with Section B Army Reserves in January 1925.  He was discharged on 22 February 1932 at Canterbury.  Jack’s brother, William Frederick, also joined the 4th Hussars and Royal Tank Corps on the same day as Jack and they were both discharged on the same day.  William had previously served with the Royal Navy.

John married Florence Charlotte Rayner, in 1925 in Edmonton, Middlesex.  It also seems that his brother William Frederick married Florence’s younger sister Olive Winifred in the same place – maybe a double wedding on the same day.

John and Florence may have had four children: James G R (1925), Anthony R (1926), Norman A (1929) and Raymond J (1937), who were all born in Edmonton.

In 1939, John and Florence are living at 36 Crescent Road, Wood Green, Middlesex with two children, one of whom is Norman A, aged ten, who is at school.  The record for the other child is still closed.  John is a bus conductor with the London Public Transport Board.

John died in Wood Green in 1953, aged 56 years.

Gerrel is an uncommon surname, we have found several different spellings, including Gerrell on some official documents.  Is this your surname?  Can you tell us more about John (Jack)?

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