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John Readman (1889-1960)

160th (Wearside) Brigade, Royal Field Artillery

John Readman was born to William and Mary Readman, Grosmont, North Yorkshire in 1889. The 1891 census shows that the family had moved to Crook, County Durham, not long after.

In 1910, John Readman married Elizabeth Anne Downs. On the 1911 Census they were living together, with another young couple listed as boarders, and John was working as a miner. Their first child, Vera, was born in 1914.

In early 1915, John enlisted with the 160th (Wearside) Brigade, Royal Field Artillery. The unit spent the year in training, leaving for France in January 1916. John must have return to England on leave as a son, John junior, was born in August 1917.

On 1 August 1918, the brigade were to capture the Grand Rozoy – Beugneux Ridge, France. During this action, Corporal John Readman was wounded.

The family story, as passed down to his great granddaughter, says:
“He was laid injured (shrapnel) in a ditch on the side of the road when a local ambulance stopped for a toilet break. They heard a few groans and took him away to hospital. There was a room where they put the soldiers who were expected not to make it. A few days later someone had noted John was still alive!! They then thought “he might just make it”. Took him to a more suitable place, probably a ward and after treatment he did survive.”

Eventually returned to England, Readman was discharged from the army, and given the Silver War Badge, on 25 April 1919.

After the war, John returned to Crook and his work as a miner. John died in 1960.

Idle and Dissolute, the History of 160th (Wearside) Brigade, Royal Field Artillery, Philip William Adams

West Terrace, Crook (1891 Census)
Percy Street, Crook (1911 Census)
Linton’s Yard, Crook (1919)
South End Villas, Crook (1939 Register)

160th (Wearside) Brigade, Royal Field Artillery
Enlisted: 23-Mar-1915
Discharged: 25-Apr-1919

British War Medal
Victory Medal

Contributed by Lisa Dowd, York

Supporting Material

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