John was born on 10th April 1888 in Coleraine, Londonderry, Northern Ireland, son of Alexander and Margaret.
He worked as a carpenter prior to joining the Navy, where he continued his skills, joining the Navy on 12th November 1915 as a part of the Carpenter’s Crew. He was recorded as 5'5" tall, with brown hair and blue eyes and trained at the Chatham Base HMS PEMBROKE before joining HMS VANGUARD on 2nd March 1916. He would have participated in the Battle of Jutland on 31st May 1916 but was killed a year later, aged just 29.
His father claimed John’s Victory and British war medals after his death - his body never recovered, he is remembered on the Chatham Naval Memorial.
(#89 - 5/843)
Ireland, Civil Registration Births Index, 1864-1958
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: 1050
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: 007 (1914 - 1919)
British Army and Navy Birth, Marriage and Death Records, 1730-1960 National Archives of the UK; Kew, Surrey, England; Admiralty and predecessors: Office of the Director General of the Medical Department of the Navy and predecessors: Service Registers and Registers of Deaths and Injuries. Registers of Reports of Deaths
Royal Navy and Royal Marine War Graves Roll, 1914-1919 TNA Series: ADM 242/7; Scan Number: 0028
TNA Series: ADM 242/7; Scan Number: 0028 Class: ADM 171; Piece: 94