John was born in Wolverhampton in 1886. It is unclear who his parents were; by 1891 he was living with his grandparents Samuel and Priscilla Bircher, at 22 Temple Street, Bilston. He married Emily Eliza Bickley in Wolverhampton in 1907. The couple had a son, Robert (1908) and a daughter, Ellen (1910). By 1911, he was living in the home of Albert Edward and Ellen Priscilla Fellows at 90 Temple Street, and was down as “Son” of the head of the household. John was a sheet mill worker at an iron works. His wife and daughter were living with her sister Martha and her husband William Thomas Pope at 16 Stone Street, Bilston. Unfortunately both Robert and Ellen died in infancy.
John enlisted in the 7th Battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment (number 12082). He first served in the Balkans from 6 October 1915. Unfortunately he was wounded and died of these wounds on 16 August 1917. He is remembered at the Tyne Cot Memorial in Belgium, as well as on the Bilston New Town Ward Roll of Honour.