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John William Heatherington (1896-1917)

Labourer from Saint John's Chapel served with 15th and 2nd DLI

John William Heatherington was born on 22 April 1896, son of William and Jane Heatherington of Hood Street, St John’s Chapel. He had two sisters, Julia and Elizabeth, and one brother, Havlock. He was admitted to St John’s Chapel School on 18 March 1901.

By the time of the 1911 census he was 15 years old and working as a mason’s labourer.

He enlisted on 16 September 1914 in the Durham Light Infantry (DLI), giving his occupation as farm labourer. He served with the 15th Battalion, and later, the 2nd Battalion.

He embarked for France with the Expeditionary Force in September 1915 and served there until he received minor wounds in the neck and shoulder in the summer of 1916. John was posted to England for medical treatment and then declared fit for light duties for three months. He returned to France in September 1916 to the 2nd Battalion, and was killed in action on 14 March 1917.

John William Heatherington is buried in the Philosophe British Cemetery, Mazingarbe, Pas de Calais, France.

Some of his personal effects were returned to his family, including, letters, cards, a wallet, a purse, a belt, razor, photos and a pencil.

He was awarded the British War Medal and the 1914-15 Star.

Civil Parish: Stanhope

Birth date: 22-April-1896

Death date: 14-March-1917

Armed force/civilian: Army

Residence: Bridge House, Saint John’s Chapel

Education: Saint John’s Chapel school

Employment: Mason’s labourer
Farm labourer

Family: Father: William Heatherington
Mother; Jane Heatherington
Sisters: Jilia and Elizabeth
Brother: Havlock

Military service:

Private, 15th and 2nd Battalions, Durham Light Infantry. Served in France, where he was killed in action.

Medal(s): 1914-15 Star
British War Medal
Victory Medal

Memorial(s): Philosophe British Cemetery, Mazingarbe, Pas de Calais, France
Saint John’s Chapel, village green, war memorial
Saint John’s Chapel, town hall, roll of honour

Gender: Male

Contributed by John B | Mel Brown