John Henry Ainsworth
Date of birth: 1893
Date of death: 10.10.1918
Regiment: East Yorkshire
Family information: Husband of Mabel nee Parkin
Service number: 39572
John enlisted at Wakefield and was Private 39572 in the 7th Battalion East Yorkshire Regiment who were sent to France in July 1915 and fought in many battles as part of the 17th (Northern) Division.
One of John’s relations recounts that in 1917 his daughter Olive was born and he came home on leave at some point to meet her. When the time came for him to return to the army his father Joseph was to take him to the station and his sister Susan wanted to accompany him. Joseph said he wanted to go on his own and when he returned form the station he said that they wouldn’t see him again. Sadly that prophecy was to come true.
In October 1918 they were on the heels of a retreating enemy in what was officially called The Pursuit to the Selle (9-12th October). They were engaged in house to house fighting through two villages (Neuvilly and Montay) north of Le Cateau and it is probable that John fell during that engagement. He was killed in action on 10th October 1918. He was awarded the British War and Victory medals and is buried at the Highland Cemetery, Le Cateau, France.
The report in the Wakefield Express states
“PRIVATE JOHN HENRY AINSWORTH, East Yorkshire Regiment, has been killed in action. He leaves a widow and one child who are at present staying with Mrs Ainsworth’s mother, Mrs Parker St John’s Terrace, Silcoates.”
His wife put the following in the Wakefield Express of 16th November:
“AINSWORTH – In Loving memory of my dearest husband Private J H Ainsworth, of Silcoates who was killed in action by a shell on 10th Oct, 1918, aged 26 years.”
John was born in Birkenshaw, Yorkshire to Joseph and Mary Hannah in about 1893, but by 1901 the family had moved to Brandy Carr Road, Kirkhamgate. By this time, sadly at the age of 8, John and his two younger sisters, Harriet Ann (b1895) and Susan (b1897) had lost their mother (who had died in 1900 aged 34) and their father Joseph, a coal miner, was a widower at the age of only 28. The family had a widow and her son living with them as a housekeeper. John was still living with his father in Brandy Carr in 1911 and like his dad was a coal miner. Sister Susan was also living there but his other sister Harriet had died in 1906.
John married Mabel Parkin on 10th June 1916 at St Anne’s Wrenthorpe - at 21 she was two years younger than him. He was said to be a resident of East Ardsley and she was of St John’s Terrace Wrenthorpe.