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John Augustus Whitehead (1897-1917)

Staffordshire man served with 15th and 17th DLI commemorated on the Arras Memorial

John was born in 1897 in Aston, Birmingham, the second son and fifth child of William and Annie Whitehead. His father was 27 years older than his mother and had 11 children from a previous marriage. John’s father is described in the censuses as a Japanner, glass painter and house decorator. In 1901 the family were living at 64 Upper Highgate Street, Aston. In 1911 they were at 351 Sneyd Street, Cobridge, Staffordshire. John was working as a mould runner at a pottery.

John attested at Newcastle, Staffordshire on 16 December 1914, giving his age as 19 and occupation as blacksmith’s striker. He was living at 340 Waterloo Road, Cobridge, when he attested. He was posted as private 22165 to 17th Battalion Durham Light Infantry (DLI) at Barnard Castle. In 1916 John became a lance corporal and was posted to 15th DLI in France as a machine gunner. On 31 December 1915 he was treated for a gunshot wound to left arm and back. In May 1916 he was promoted to corporal and a year late was reported killed by a shell near Bullecourt.

Birth date: 1897

Death date: 03-May-1917

Armed force/civilian: Army

Residence: 64 Upper Highgate Street, Aston, Birmingham (1901 census)
351 Sneyd Street, Cobridge, Staffordshire (1911 census)
340 Waterloo Road, Cobridge, Staffordshire (1914 army service record)

Employment: Mould runner in pottery (1911 census)
Blacksmith’s striker (1914 army service record)

Family: Father: William Whitehead (1840–1916)
Mother: Annie Whitehead (b 1867)
Full brothers: Edward Whitehead (b 1891), Herbert Whitehead (b 1900), Harrold Whitehead (b 1904)
Half brothers: Harry Whitehead (b 1862), William Whitehead (b 1866), Frank Whitehead (b 1870), Bernard Whitehead (b 1878), Albert Whitehead (b 1884), Arthur Whitehead (b 1885)
Full sisters: Annie Whitehead (b 1890), Maude Whitehead (b 1893), Mona Whitehead (b 1895), Alice Whitehead (b 1901), Cecilia Whitehead (b 1903), Winifred Whitehead (b 1909)
Half sisters: Fanny Whitehead (b 1860), Kate Whitehead (b 1868), Emma Whitehead (b 1873), Hetty Whitehead (b 1876), Amy Whitehead (b 1880)

Military service:

16-Nov-1914 Attested at Newcastle, Staffs giving age as 19,
06-Dec-1914 Posted to 1/17th DLI, private, 22165, at Barnard Castle
19-Mar-1915 Promoted lance corporal
09-Oct-1915 Posted 15th DLI, France, machine gunner
31-Dec-1915 Gunshot wound to left arm and back received in field, treated 21st DRS
19-Jan-1916 Returned to duties
08 to 15-Mar-1916 sick with flu
03-May-1916 Promoted Corporal
03-May-1917 Reported killed by shell neat Bullecourt

Medal(s): 1914-1915 Star
British War Medal
Victory Medal

Memorial(s): Arras Memorial, France

Gender: Male

Contributed by Harold P, Durham

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