John Patchett was born in 1893 in Eccleshill the son of Albert and Alice, nee Sharp.In 1901 the family were living at 14 Eldon Place, Eccleshill and ten years later they jad moved to 41 Institute Road. John, at 17 years of age, was a wooling mule piecer. Before enlisting he was employed by Messrs Smith and Hutton of Eccleshill and he was a member of Eccleshill Congregational Sunday School. He enlisted on the 21st of November 1915 as Private 4858 in the 1st/7th Battalion of the Gordon Highlanders, 51st Division. His battalion was not involved in any operation until the Battles of the Somme 1st of July to the 18th of November 1916 when the
Gordon Highlanders took part in the attacks on High Wood 20th to the 25th of July. The wood sits on ground that gave the occupier vital observation south, east and north east and both sides fought to possess it. John’s battalion was not involved again until the Battle of Ancre 13th to the 18th of November which marked the end of the Somme offensive and he was killed in action on the 13th of November, the first day of this battle. Four German divisions had to be relieved due to the number of casualties they suffered and over
7,000 German troops were taken prisoner. Father A Grant, Roman Catholic Chaplain to the 153rd Brigade, wrote to Mr and Mrs Patchett as follows: “I am very sorry to have to tell you of the death of your son. He was killed in action on the 13th.“All the boys were at confession and communion before going into battle. God rest him and comfort you and yours.“The good French Cure asked his people to pray for him and you.”John was 23 years of age and according to his family a workmate said of him “He was a fine lad, a hard worker and an enthusiastic
soldier and his untimely end is greatly to be regretted”.John is buried at the Y Ravine Cemetery at Beaumont-Hamel. "Y" Ravine runs East and West about 800 metres South of the village, from "Station Road" to the front line of July 1916. There are now over 400, 1914-18 war casualties commemorated in this site. Of these, over a third are unidentified.He left his effects to his father Albert who received £2.10.0d on the 1st March 1917 and a War Gratuity of £3.0.0d on the 16th of October 1919.
. Researched and written by Jean Britteon, to whom many thanks