John was born in Lye, Worcestershire, in 1889, the son of John and Mary Julie Grout. He attended Wellington College, where he was in 1901. They had moved to 10 Waterloo Road, Wolverhampton, by 1911, here his father was a physician and a surgeon. They lived there with John’s sisters Elsie Theodora, Audrey Violet and Elaine Joyce. John was a medical student.
He enlisted in the Royal Army Medical Corps, and became a Captain. On 6 April 1918, the London Gazette announced that he had been awarded the Military Cross,
For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty in conducting a number of stretcher squads through very heavy shell fire to the aid-posts after they had previously failed to get through. Two bearers were killed and three wounded, but by his gallant action over forty stretcher cases were got to safety. Later, he personally conducted squads to these aid-posts under similar circumstances.
A small article also appeared in the Express & Star on 9 April 1918, by which date his father’s address was given as 59 Tettenhall Road.
John survived the war, and married Mary E. Harris in Rugby in 1919. He died on 27 November 1963 at The Royal Hospital, Sheffield at the age of 74, and left items to the value of £24125.