John was born on 14th July 1899 to parents John and Mabel, their first child. He was aged one on the 1901 census, John Snr worked as a miner hewer and the family lived at Colliery Street, Durham.
He joined the Navy on 14th July 1915 as a Boy 2nd Class, beginning his training at HMS GANGES until 13th March 1916 (rising to Boy 1st Class on 14th January 1916) before transferring to HMS PEMBROKE I to await his posting to a vessel. He joined HMS VANGUARD on 2nd May 1916, experienced the Battle of Jutland then transferred off the dreadnought on 9th June 1916.
He returned to HMS PEMBROKE on 10th June 1916 for a week before returning to HMS VANGUARD on 18th June 1916, spent 10 days in cells in October 1916 and remained aboard until the ship exploded in 1917.
John was 5’5” tall with brown hair and eyes and previously worked as a blacksmith prior to going to sea. He died 5 days before his 18th birthday.
His pension was awarded to his mother, his Star, Victory and British war medals were claimed by his father after his death. He is remembered on the Chatham Naval Memorial.
England & Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1837-1915 Free BMD
1901 England Census
Royal Navy Registers of Seamen's Services, 1848-1939 National Archives of the UK; Kew, Surrey, England; Royal Navy Registers of Seamen's Services; Class: ADM 188; Piece: 731
British Army and Navy Birth, Marriage and Death Records, 1730-1960 National Archives of the UK; Kew, Surrey, England; Admiralty: Naval Casualties, Indexes, War Grave Rolls and Statistics Book, First World War.; Class: ADM 242; Piece: 008 (1914 - 1919
Royal Navy and Royal Marine War Graves Roll, 1914-1919 TNA Series: ADM 242/8; Scan Number: 0718
World War I Pension Ledgers and Index Cards, 1914-1923 Western Front Association; London, England; WWI Pension Record Cards and Ledgers; Reference: 651/02D
Naval Medal and Award Rolls, 1793-1972 Class: ADM 171; Piece: 104
Photo source St Mary’s Church, Gateshead