John George Wapples was born in 1885, the son of John and Martha Wapples. He attended Wednesfield Council School as well as Wednesfield Church Sunday School. By the 1901 census, the family appear at 173 Wood End, Wednesfield, and John is listed as a night latch maker alongside his parents, three sisters and three brothers. At one point he became an employee of Patent Axle Box Works. In 1909 he married Fanny E. McConkey, and the couple went on to have two children, Ernest and Jane, by 1913.
In 1914, Wapples enlisted in the 6th Battalion of the Leicestershire Regiment (number 10636). He was reported missing on 17 July 1916, but was only confirmed to have died on that day in March 1917. He appeared in the “Pictorial Roll of Honour” in the Midland Counties Express on 10 March 1917. By this date, Fanny was living at 17 Orchard Buildings, Wednesfield. Wapples is commemorated at the Thiepval Memorial, and on the Wednesfield First World War roll of honour. His widow, Fanny, went on to marry a former colleague of his from the Patent Axle Box Works, William Birchall, in 1917.