John was born in Wolverhampton in 1898. In 1901 he was living with his parents, Frederick C. A. and Emma Jane Anthony, at 42 Brook Street, Stourbridge, alongside his sister Florence E. and Emily and brothers Charles and Alfred. By 1911, he was living with his mother, Emma Jane, at 46 Ward Street, Wolverhampton, along with seven siblings – Charles Aurthur [sic], Alfred, Emily, Phyllis, Earnest, Doris and Edwin. John was still at school but was also a part-time errand boy for what appears to be a “tin + crock shop”.
John enlisted as a Private in the 10th Battalion of the Durham Light Infantry (number 24106), first serving in France from 16 December 1915. He was killed in action on 16 September 1916 in France. His entry in the Army Register of Soldiers’ Effects has “Death pres[umed]?” for that date, so it appears that his death was not confirmed straight away. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial.