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John was born in Birmingham in 1895, and was first taught at Elkington Street Board School, before the family moved to Wolverhampton, when he attended Neachells Lane School, Wednesfield. For seven years, he attended St Stephen’s Sunday School, being a member of the choir for five years. By 1911 he was living at 64 Hart Road, Wednesfield, with his mother and step-father, Susan and Charles Moore, a half-brother Charles Henry Moore, and his brother, William Lee. John was a labourer at the Patent Axle Box Works in Wednesfield. He was also involved in “local football circles”.

John enlisted with the 6th Battalion of the Leicestershire Regiment (number 10830). He volunteered to go out and raid German trenches, returning safely on 16 June 1916, but was killed in action in France on 17 July 1916. An article about him appeared in the Midland Counties Express on 25 November 1916. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, as well as on the Wednesfield Village Roll of Honour.