John was born on 29th March 1891 in Liverpool, Lancashire to parents John and Alice, one of six children and baptised on 2nd November 1891 at St Peter’s Church in Liverpool.
He was mentioned on the 1891 census as a baby, living at 84 Leadenhall Street with his parents and older brother Robert.
10 years later Robert, aged 10, and his parents lived at 101 Rishton Street in the St Saviour parish of Everton, Liverpool, along with brother Robert and 3 younger siblings.
By 1911 the family had moved again and lived at 130 Fountains Road, Liverpool - John was then aged 20 (but listed as 22) and recorded as a plumber although he had joined the Royal Marine Light Infantry the year before, on 2nd September 1910. Enlisting at Liverpool, he started his training as a Private at the Recruiting Depot at Deal Chatham from 3rd September until 9th August 1911. He was transferred to Chatham Division on 10th August and stayed until 1st September when he was transferred to the Royal Navy. Signing for 12 years, training began at HMS PEMBROKE II as a Stoker 2nd Class and was recorded as 5'7" tall, with brown hair, blue eyes and a tattoos of clasped hands, heart, spray of flowers and "truelove" on left forearm.
His first ship posting was to HMS ANTRIM for 1 month then he spent almost a year aboard HMS LANCASTER leaving on 4th November 1912. John spent the next 14 months either at HMS PEMBROKE II or at the Depot Ship HMS ST GEORGE, before joining HMS VANGUARD on 10th February 1914 prior to war breaking out. He served during the Battle of Jutland and was killed aged just 26 years old.
England & Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1837-1915 - Free BMD
Liverpool, England, Church of England Baptisms, 1813-1919 Liverpool Record Office; Liverpool, England; Liverpool Church of England Parish Registers; Reference Number: 283 PET/2/91
1891, 1901 and 1911 England Census
Admiralty: Royal Marines: Registers of Service ADM 159/127/16777
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: 892
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: Piece 009; Piece Description: Piece 009 (1914 - 1919)
Royal Navy and Royal Marine War Graves Roll, 1914-1919 TNA Series: ADM 242/9; Scan Number: 0317
WWI Pension Ledgers and Index Cards, 1914-1923 Western Front Association; London, England; Pension Record Cards; Reference: 125/0592/MCD-MCD
Liverpool Weekly Courier