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Born: 1895, Idle
Died: 11 April 1918
Buried: Duisans British Cemetery, Etrun
Address: 13 Butt Lane, Idle
Parents: Walter & Eliza
Siblings: Brooksbank, John Henry, Ruth, Squire, Mary, Ned
Occupation: Furniture upholsterer (1911)
Organisations/clubs: Idle Wesleyan Church
Rank: Gunner
Medals/awards: Military Medal
Rolls of Honour: Holy Trinity, Idle
Regiment: Royal Field Artillery
John Hainsworth North
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John Hainsworth North was the fifth of seven children of Idle hairdresser Walter North and his wife Eliza. At the time of the 1911 census, Walter was a boarder with the family of Tom Pearson in Manningham and was working as a furniture upholsterer. On 26 April 1918, the Shipley Times & Express reported: Writing from the front to Mr and Mrs Walter North, of 13 Butt Lane, Idle, regarding their son Gunner John Hainsworth North, MM, R.F.A., who was killed on 11th April, and officer says: “He was a good, stout-hearted soldier and a brave man, and one I respected for his good work and devotion to duty. “As his section commander, I have only good to say of him. He was recommended for and obtained the Military Medal for good conduct in the field on 28th March and was always a gallant lad.” Gunner North, who was 23 years of age, enlisted on 29th May 1915 and went to the front on 10th February 1916. He had been gassed three
times and blinded twice. He was on ten days’ leave last September. Previous to enlisting, he worked at Jonathan Peate’s, Guiseley but was better known at Gaunt’s, Idle and was connected with the Idle Wesleyan Church. One of his brothers, Cpl John Henry North, Royal Engineers, who is 30 years old, joined up on 1st January 1917, was wounded in November 1917 and is now at the front. He also is connected with the Idle Wesleyan Church and the Eastbrook Brotherhood, Bradford, and was a timekeeper for the Bradford Corporation. Another brother, Sgt Brooksbank North, Duke of Wellington’s West Riding Regt, is a regular, having enlisted on 23rd February 1907. He went to India with his regiment in the following September and is still there, being on the staff of the Officers’ Training Corps.
Now 32 years of age, he was a spinning overlooker at the Albion Mills, Idle, previous to enlisting and was a member of the Idle Victoria Football Club. On 6 December 1918 the newspaper published a report of how John had been awarded his medal: Mr and Mrs W North of 13 Butt Lane, Idle, have received the Military Medal awarded to their son, Gunner John Hainsworth North, Royal Field Artillery, who was killed in action on 11th April last, fourteen days after his bravery in the field. The circumstances under which he won the decoration have never been published but are set forth in the following letter from a R.F.A. lieutenant to Mrs North: “Your son won the medal when the Germans attacked us on 28th March. We were subjected to very heavy shell fire and several men were killed and wounded. “In spite of this your son ‘carried on’ helping with the wounded and
continually firing his gun and gradually, by his example of coolness and steadiness, helping the battery to retire in perfect order. “He was a very gallant lad. He met his death after the battery had just finished firing and the men were going to their breakfast. Suddenly the enemy opened fire on us, killing two and wounding six. Your brother (sic) was killed instantly by a piece of shell which struck him behind the ear. “He was buried in the British Cemetery near Harbach. The badge, which he had previously won, was buried with him.” The deceased, who enlisted, had been at the front two years and had been gassed and blinded on three occasions. Mr and Mrs North have still three sons with the colours, namely Sgt B North, Duke of Wellington’s Regt, now in India, and who has been in the army a dozen years; Cpl J H North, Royal Engineers, in France; and Pte S B North, training with the Durham Light Infantry at Herne Bay.
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