Date of death: 11.8.1916
Regiment: King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry
Service number: 19908
This was Private John Weston 19908 (19906 on some records) of the KOYLI 2nd Battalion. He died on August 11th 1916 and, according to the records, he was born in London, enlisted in Wakefield and lived in St Anne’s Terrace, Wrenthorpe. The medal rolls indicate that he served in the 9th and 10th Battalions before the 2nd. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission states that he was the son of Mr and Mrs Weston of Poplar, London. With no other names to go on it is difficult to pinpoint his family especially as his sole legatee is named as Fanny Southwick who in 1911 was living in St Anne’s Terrace so may just have been a neighbour or landlady. There was a prison record for a John Weston convicted of begging in Wakefield in 28th November 1912. This man was born in London and was 28 which corresponds with our John Weston.
On the 16th July 1916 the 2nd Battalion were in Bouzincourt and were in relief after almost continuous fighting since 1st July (the first day of the Somme), enjoying some rest and relaxation while the weather was hot and dry. On the 1st August it was Minden Day (a regimental anniversary to commemorate the Battle of Minden during the Seven Years War) and the war diary records that “Col Adamson sent roses from England”. The battalion moved into the reserve at Annequin North on the 6th August and on the 10th they took over from the Highland Light Infantry in the Cambrin Sector where they lost one man with two wounded from rifle grenades during the night. One of the wounded men was probably John who died of wounds the following day.
The Wakefield Express reported his death:
“WRENTHORPE SOLDIER DIES OF WOUNDS Private John Weston (KOYLI) died of wounds in France on August 11th. He was single aged 32 and lived at St Anne’s Terrace Wrenthorpe. He was a labourer at the pit at the time of enlistment.”
John is buried at the Bethune Town Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France and was awarded the British War Medal and Victory Medal.