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John Lavender was born in Bilston in 1877, the son of Emmanuel and Elizabeth Lavender. In 1881 they were living at 88 John Street, Bilston, together with John’s brothers William, George and Bertey. John married Jane Owen in Wolverhampton in 1907, and they lived at 2 Back, 10 Caledonia Street, Bilston. 

John became a Private in the 2nd Battalion of the Lincolnshire Regiment (number 16107). He served in the Balkans, and first entered the War on 14 September 1915. On 1 July 1916 he was presumed dead, and this was later confirmed. He is commemorated on the Bilston Town Hall Ward Roll of Honour, as well as on the Thiepval Memorial.