John Henry Lawton


About John Henry

  • Name
    John Henry
  • Initials
  • Surname
  • Date of Birth
    7 January 1894
  • Birth town
    Burslem, Staffordshire
  • Resided town
  • Commemorated
  • Nationality
  • Place of death
    Leek, Staffordshire
  • Date of death
  • Married
  • Occupation
    Miner's Loader

Service Information

  • Army

  • Service Number
  • Rank
  • Regiment
    Royal Field Artillery


John Henry passed through Peterborough East Station three times and signed the visitors’ book on each occasion.  He was stationed at Flixton Park, Bungay when he came through on 10 August 1916, returning a week later on 18 August, and again on 8 October 1916, when he was stationed at Somerlyton Camp, Lowestoft.  (The visitors’ book can be searched by date).

John Henry was born on 7 January 1894, in Burslem, Staffordshire to parents Frederick, a potters hollow-ware presser, and Sarah Lawton.  However, it appears that his father may have died before he was born.

In the 1901 Census, John (7) is living at 72 Church Street, Burslem with his mother, Sarah (37), now listed as head of the family,  and siblings, Minnie (17) a potters transferrer, Nellie (13), a potters warehouse girl and Albert (6).  It has not been possible to find John in the 1911 Census, but on his attestation form his mother, Sarah Brown (who must have remarried), was his next of kin living at 19 Newton Street, Paisley, Scotland.

John Henry married Lily Burden in Burslem on 6 October 1912.  They had four children, John Henry (1915), Harold (1917), Gladys (1919) and Irene (1923).

Although we have located John’s service record, it is quite difficult to unravel.  He attested in Stoke-on-Trent on 7 August 1914, and joined the 3rd Battalion North Staffordshire Regiment Special Reserve.  His occupation at the time was a miner’s loader and his address was 3 Greatbach Square, Burslem.  However, he was discharged on 10 April 1915, being no longer physically fit for war service.  In December 1914, he had ‘fallen out’ on a route march and was put on light duty.  By January 1915, his condition had worsened and he was unable to walk without sticks or crutches.  A medical report dated 5 March 1915, stated that he had ruptured thigh muscles, which he had sustained in 1913, whilst working in a coal mine and his thigh had been caught between rollers.

There is mention of a further attestation dated 26 May 1915 joining the 4th Reserve Brigade, Royal Field Artillery.  He was posted to France on 8 January 1917, but was wounded by gas poisoning on 19 May 1917, and invalided back to England on Hospital Ship Pieter de Conick on 13 June.  He is in Etaples in March 1918, when he transferred to the 1st Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers 29th Divisional Wing.  On 8 April 1918, he is taken to 57 Field Hospital suffering from an old thigh injury and admitted to the general hospital in Boulogne on 11 April with ruptured thigh muscles and invalided back to England on 13 April on Hospital Ship Brighton.

Before being transferred to Army Reserves, John underwent a medical report where he stated that the injury to his right thigh muscles was caused whilst he was on duty in the field in France, originating on 10 April 1918.  He stated that he was blown up and had suffered pain and loss of power in his right thigh ever since.  The medical board agreed that he was suffering from ruptured muscle fibres of the thigh, resulting in slight stiffness of the hip joint, and was attributable to war service.  In their opinion it was a 1% temporary disablement from which he would recover within three months. They recommended transfer to Class P Reserves on 8 October 1918, John was discharged on 5 February 1919.

John was awarded a disability pension for the pains in his right leg, giving slight limitation of power, which was considered less than 20% disability.  It was described as a case of aggravation by service of a disability which existed prior to entry.  His address is listed as 9 King Street, Burslem.

In 1939, John and Lily were living at 109 Leek Road, Stoke-on-Trent.  John was working as a bricklayer.

John died in Leek in 1971, aged 77 years.

Please get in touch if you can tell us more about John.

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