Date of birth: 22.6.1896
Date of death: 17.7.1917
Regiment: King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry (2nd Battalion)
Family information: Son of Joseph and Rachel Andrews
Service number: 26039
John enlisted as Private 26039 in the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry 2nd Battalion and was killed in Belgium on 17th July 1917 (according to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission) and buried at the Coxyde Military Cemetery aged just 21. He was awarded the Victory and British War Medals. His effects were left to his father Joseph.
This report appeared in the Wakefield Express 28th July 1917
“Private John Andrews, KOYLI, Carr Gate, was officially reported as wounded on July 7th, but a letter has since been received from the sister at the hospital in Belgium stating that he died on July 15th from a wound in the head caused by the bursting of a shell. He was 21 years of age and single and previous to enlisting he was in the employ of Mr J S Ramsden, market gardener, Brandy Carr.”
According to the war diary the 2nd battalion was at Lombartzyde and “just after 8.0am the enemy began to bombard our lines with Minnenwoefers, Aerial Darts and Rifle Grenades” the KOYLIs retaliated with their own bombardment until the enemy stopped. Casualties in the period noon on the 6th to noon on the 7th were two officers wounded, 3 other ranks killed and 24 wounded. According to the report above, John was one of the wounded.
John’s brother, Joseph, who was a year younger than him also fought in France and was listed as missing as reported in the Wakefield Express July 6th 1918
“PRIVATE JOSEPH ANDREWS KOYLI, Carr Gate, Wakefield is reported missing since March. His brother John was killed about a year ago.”
There was however better news in the edition of August 10th when they reported
“PRIVATE JOSEPH ANDREWS KOYLI, Carr Gate, Wrenthorpe, reported missing on April 28th last, has written home stating that he is a prisoner in Germany and in the best of health.”
Another member of the family also enlisted in the army and that was John and Abraham’s Uncle George. He was 36 years old when he enlisted in 1917 but only served at home between 19th May and 7th September of that year being discharged due to illness and given a £15 gratuity. He gives his next of kin as his brother Joseph of Carr Gate.
John Andrews was born on 22nd June 1896 to Joseph and Rachel. He was not baptised until the 11th September 1907 when Rachel and Joseph had seven children baptised at St Anne’s Wrenthorpe – daughters Elsie (b1894), Ann (b1900), Ada (b1902), Elizabeth (b1903) and Ivy (b1906) and son Joseph (1898) as well as John. They were living at Carr Gate and dad Joseph was a miner. The 1901 census records them living at Carr Gate and Joseph was a colliery shunter. In 1911 they were still at Carr Gate and John was working now as a market gardener, with Joseph jnr at the rope works. Joseph and Rachel also had a son called Charles born in 1908 and the census records them as having lost 2 children making 10 children in total.
John was cousin to Abraham Andrews who is also remembered on the war memorial as their respective fathers were brothers.