Died: 7 November 1915, Red Cross Hospital, Cirencester
Buried: Scholemoor Cemetery, Bradford
Address: 12 Oak Avenue, Bradford
Parents: Sam and Henrietta, nee Tomlinson
Siblings: Arthur, Horace
Occupation: Chemist, J R Denison, dyers, Bradford
Rolls of Honour: Bradford Grammar School
Regiment: Royal Engineers
John Geoffrey Midgley
John Geoffrey Midgley is not really part of the Shipley district story except that his mother, Henrietta, came from Idle and his story is linked to that of Walter Lee (link below).He was born and brought up in Bradford the eldest child of music teachers, Sam and Henrietta Midgley.Apart from the one mention in Walter’s story, there is no record of John in the Shipley Times & Express but there is a full entry in De Ruvigny’s Roll of Honour which reads:Midgley, John Geoffrey, D.C.M., Cpl, No 106321, 188th Coy, Royal Engineers, son of Samuel Midgley of 12 Oak Avenue, Bradford, by his wife Henrietta, dau of Thomas Tomlinson.
Born Bradford 17 June 1890; educ Grammar School and Technical College there; was Works Chemist for J R Denison & Co, Dyers, Bradford; a good botanist and wrote for weekly newspapers, also delivered lectures. In 1913 he spent two months at Baiers, Elberfeld.Was originally in 1st Bradford Pals Battn; volunteered and enlisted in October 1914; went to France 27 July 1915.He was wounded in France 13 October 1916 and died in the Red Cross Hospital, Cirencester, 7 November following. Buried in Bradford.He was awarded a Distinguished Conduct Medal for attempting to save a wounded Highlander. Sec-Lieut J C Hill, Commanding his company, wrote: At the battle of 13
October 1915, Cpl Midgley, J G, carried out his duties with coolness and perfect success, despite an intense bombardment and many serious difficulties.Having completed his own work, his orders were to stand by and wait for me to lead the section out of the firing line as soon as this was practicable.While he was waiting, some of the infantry went over the parapet, were stopped by their own wire and retired, leaving a wounded private of the Black Watch in front of the bay where Cpl Midgley was working.Immediately Cpl Midgley climbed over the parapet to bring the Highlander into the trench but was unfortunately hit in the thigh and had to retire.
Thereupon Cpl Lee, inspired by the bravery of his comrade, went out and dragged the Highlander back to the trench. Cpl Lee was unhurt and the Highlander had three flesh wounds which I dressed.But for Cpl Midgley’s gallant example I feel sure the Highlander would have lain out there till he was suffocated or killed.I deeply regret the loss of so gallant a solider but would have been some consolation to his relatives and friends to hear him commended, as I did, by so many of the Black Watch and to know, as we all know here, that he gave his life for his friend.