John W Howell


About John

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Service Information

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    Royal Fusiliers


Private John W Howell was stranded at Peterborough East Railway Station on 18 July 1916 on his way home from France. He wrote in the visitors’ book: “A soldier stranded on the way home from France tenders his heartiest thanks to the ladies for their kindness & attention.”

Private Howell’s service record has not survived but it has been established that he enlisted with the 24th (Service) Battalion Royal Fusiliers on 14 December 1914, and disembarked for France on 15 November 1915.  At some point he transferred to the 12th Scottish Rifles (Cameronians).  He was discharged on medical grounds on 28 February 1919.  He was awarded the 14/15 Star, and the British War and Allied Victory Medals.

The 24th (Service) Battalion Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment), was the second of three Sportsman’s Battalions to be formed and was raised at the Hotel Cecil in the Strand, London on 20 November 1914, by Mrs E Cunliffe-Owen.  They were among the Pals battalions in the early stages of the Great War, but instead of being taken from a small geographical area, these battalions were largely made up of men who had made their name in sports.

In June 1915 24th (Service) Battalion joined 99th Brigade, 33rd Division at Clipstone camp near Mansfield in Nottinghamshire. In November 1915, they proceeded to France and by 21 November 1915, they were concentrated near Morbecque and took part in Winter Operations.  In 1915, the battalion saw action at the battle of Festubert and Loos. In 1916, they fought in the battles of the Somme and the Operations on the Ancre. In 1917, they were in action during the German retreat to the Hindenburg Line, the battles of Arras and Cambrai.  In 1918, they fought on the Somme, in the battles of the Hindenburg Line and Selle.  The 2nd Division was selected to advance into Germany and formed part of the Occupation Force after the Armistice.

Is your family name Howell.  Do get in touch if you can tell us more about John.

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