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The son of Edward and Sarah Lewis, John was born in Wolverhampton in 1896. In 1901, he was living with his parents at 3 New Street, Heath Town, along with his siblings Ann Marie, Edward, Agnes Elizabeth, Richard William and Mary Anne. He was at 20 New Street by 1911, and had become an iron foundry worker.

In 1912, he enlisted with the 6th Battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment (number 1872). He was at the same address and was a fitter at Jenks & Cattell. He was embodied in August 1914, but was discharged on 19 May 1915, due to what was described as being “mentally deficient”.

Despite this, he appears to have reenlisted, serving first as a Private with the Army Service Corps (T4/262747) and later with the King’s Royal Rifle Regiment (number A/203551). He was posted to the 1st/16th London Regiment (Queen’s Westminster Rifles) as a Rifleman, but was killed in action on 4 November 1918 in France. He is buried at Sebourg British Cemetery in France, and is probably the J. Lewis who appears on the Heath Park memorial.