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Born: 14 May 1896, Halifax
Died: 2 April 1968, Welwyn Garden City
Address: 12 Acre Lane, Eccleshill
Parents: George Edward & Mary Hannah, nee Pickles
Spouse: Gladys Mary, nee Hartley
Occupation: Salesman
Rank: Cpl
Medals/awards: Military Medal
Rolls of Honour:
Regiment: Leicestershire
John Harold Emerson
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John Harold Emerson was born in Halifax on 14 May 1896, the son of pawnbroker George Edward Emerson and his wife Mary Hannah, nee Pickles. The family were still in Halifax at the time of the 1901 census but by 1911 his father had died and he and his mother were living with his grandmother, Hannah Pickles, at 330 Junction Mount, Idle Road, Eccleshill. We only have one reference to John’s war record in the Shipley Times & Express, who reported on 21 September 1917: “The gallantry of Eccleshill soldiers at the front has again been rewarded, for the third Military Medal within a very short period has now been made, the recipient on this occasion being Cadet J H Emerson of 12 Acre Lane.
“The medal was presented on September 8th by Lieut-Colonel Shaw, who is the officer in command of the Artists’ Rifles, which is at present stationed at Romford in Essex. “When the medal was won, Emerson was a corporal in the 9th Leicestershire Regt and he was also granted a commission for his gallant conduct “The particular deeds which earned him this double distinction were read out by Lieut-Col Shaw as follows: ‘During the attack on Fontaine-les-Croiselles on May 3rd, 1917, Cpl Emerson gathered together a number of men and
consolidated their position in the German front line. ‘Whilst occupying the trench he saw small bodies of men in shell holes which he brought in under heavy fire, further strengthening his garrison. ‘On the order to withdraw, he safely brought back his party without casualties and further directed his men who were making for the front line, displaying initiative and resource. ‘The following evening, he volunteered for a party to fetch in wounded from No Man’s Land and in all, showed a fine example to all the men who were with him.’
“Cadet Emerson enlisted in the army a year last February and has only been in France since 20th of last December. “He was 21 years of age last May and was formerly employed by White, Craven & Waller, shipping agents, Harris Street, Bradford.” From the Ancestry site we learn that after the war John married Gladys Mary Hartley, a school teacher from Undercliffe, on 1 September 1927, when John is described as a salesman. At the time of the 1939 survey, they were living at Sowerby Bridge and John was now sales manager of an electrical appliances company. At the time of his death on 2 April 1968 they were living at Welwyn Garden City.