John Robert Luke


About John Robert

  • Name
    John Robert
  • Initials
  • Surname
  • Date of Birth
    9 April 1892
  • Birth town
    Spennymoor Durham
  • Resided town
    Langley Moor Durham
  • Commemorated
  • Nationality
  • Place of death
  • Date of death
    9 June 1957
  • Married
  • Occupation
    Colliery Electrical Engineman

Service Information

  • Army

  • Service Number
  • Rank
  • Regiment
    Royal Army Medical Corps


John Robert Luke was born in Spennymoor, Durham on 9 April 1892 to parents George and Sarah Hannah Luke.

On the 1901 Census, John was living with his parents and brother Ernest at 11 Church Street, Brandon.  His father was employed as a coal miner.

By the 1911 Census, the family had moved to 460 Whitwell Fen, Langley Moor, Durham.  John was listed as a colliery engineman, Ernest a coal labourer, and he has a sister Florence (9).

John enlisted into the Royal Army Medical Corps, Territorial Force on 10 April 1915  and served with the 2nd Northumberland Field Ambulance.  On enlistment the family were living at 23 Onslow Terrace, Little Burr Lane, Langley Moor, Durham.

John passed through Peterborough East Station on 4 June 1916 and wrote in the visitors’ book:

“Pain seems to be a door into the realm of conscious experiences,

It is true that we say when we are passing through it, I cannot think of anything today because I am in such pain! I hardly know what to do for the pain; and yet when it passes away, we are sensitive to a host of impressions that we before ignored.

Rest, companionship, the scent of flowers, the pleasure of simple foods, the joy of sleep, all are ours in a new way; we have a new experience of them.

And friends as they watch us after we have come out of the darkness, notice a growth in sympathy and self control, a larger and more thoughtful view of things.”

From John’s entry he appears to attribute this piece to priest and author G H S Walpole.  Do you recognise this piece of writing, please let us know so that we can confirm this is the case?

He was promoted to Lance Corporal on 22 July 1916.  John served in France from 3 March 1917 to 8 April 1919.  He was discharged on 31 March 1920, and awarded the British War and Allied Victory Medals.

John married Jane Johnson on 6 March 1918 in Durham.  They had two daughters, both born in Durham, Jenny (1920) and Mary (1924).

In the 1939 Register John was living with his wife and two children at 34 St Monica Grove, Durham, his occupation is listed as a boiler fireman.  He served with the Auxiliary Fire Service during World War Two.

John died in Durham on 9 June 1957, aged 65.

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