Those from St John Who Fell in the Great War 

Over 700, 000 British soldiers, sailors and airmen died in the Great War.

All over the country monuments were raised to honour these men and women. Virtually every village in the country erected a memorial.

Our War Memorial in St John has seven names of our men from our village that died in the Great War.

What do we know of them, their lives or their deaths?

The lives of these men have been researched, in some cases referring to regimental diaries, which give an insight into what their battalion was doing in the days around the dates of the deaths.

We have some information as to their families, and we have some relating to where they lived and what they did before the War.

We are extremely grateful to the Carolyn Dann, Mike and David Stevens, the Lakeman family and the family of Sydney Dennis, who have all helped us to put together the life stories of four of the men.

Of the seven men, two were sailors and five were soldiers.

The two sailors were professionals, one already serving when war was declared on 4thAugust 1914, and one who had already retired from the Navy, with a Navy pension but who re-enlisted, at the age of 47.

Of the five soldiers, two were regular soldiers, one was a guardsman.

The other three soldiers were young men who joined up to fight, before Conscription in 1916. So we know that all seven men were volunteers.

Two died in 1914, one died only 23 days into the War.

Two died in 1916, the terrible year of the Somme offensive.

Three died in 1917, in the battles of Passchendaele and Cambrai

The two sailors went down with their ships, and three of the soldiers’ bodies were never recovered from the battlefield; only two bodies are actually buried in War Graves.

The ages of our fallen were 49, 30, 30, 29, 27, 24 and 21.

The purpose of this document is to refocus the fading light of the past and to make those names mean something more to all of us.

Here are the names of the Great War Fallen on the War Memorial

Click on the blue names to read their stories

John O’Connor

2ndBattalion, Royal Munster Fusiliers

27thAugust 1914

John O’Connor

Albert James Dallen

Shipwright 2ndClass, HMS Monmouth

1stNovember 1914

Albert James Dallen Reading 2

Walter Henry White

1stBattalion, Auckland Regiment, NZ Expeditionary Force

3rdJuly 1916

Walter Henry Holmes White

Ernest Finnemore

1stBattalion, Grenadier Guards

25thSeptember 1916

Ernie Finnamore

Alfred John Stark

Able Seaman, Boatman C.G. SS Laurentic

25thJanuary 1917

Alf Stark reading

Alfred John Stevens

8thBattalion, Devonshire Regiment

5thOctober 1917

Alfred Stevens reading

Sydney Dennis

10thBattalion, Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry

Sydney Albert Dennis