30610 PTE. J. GREEN. E.LANCS.R.
John Green was born on 9 July 1898 in Bamber Bridge and baptised at St Saviour’s on 14 August. His mother was Elizabeth Ann Green (b. 1863 in Preston). The baptismal record does not show the name of the father. Elizabeth worked as a weaver and in 1911 John too had started to work part-time as a weaver. They were living at 367 Station Road, Bamber Bridge.
John enlisted not long after he turned 18, in February 1917. He joined the East Lancashire Regiment and was assigned service number 30610 and posted first to 12th Battalion, then to 8Bn and finally to 11Bn. 12Bn was the training reserve battalion. 8Bn came under orders of 112th Brigade in 37th Division. 37th Division was heavily engaged in the Third Battle of Ypres, from the opening battle at Pilkem Ridge, through Menin Road, Polygon Wood, Broodseinde, Poelcapelle and the First Battle of Passchendaele. We don’t know when John joined them but he turned 19 in July so he may have been there from that date or he may have been among reinforcements after Passchendaele. On 21 February 1918, 8Bn was disbanded and the men were transferred to 11Bn who came under orders of 92nd Brigade in 31st Division.
In 1918, 31st Division were engaged in both phases of the German Spring Offensive and had suffered the ignominy of the defeats both on the Somme, in Operation Michael, and in Flanders, in Operation Georgette. During April, for example, 11Bn had 34 men killed, 149 wounded and 84 mising (many of whom were taken prisoner). However, both the operations had failed in their ultimate objectives and under new command the British and French began to prepare their counterattack. In June, 11Bn were engaged in an operation designed to frustrate the enemy’s attempts to reorganise and also to push the front line forward near Aval Wood, west of Vieux Berquin. A full account of the operation can be found on the Accrington Pals website. It was during this operation on 28 June 1918 that John was killed. He was 20 years old.
Service Number: 30610
Date of Death: 28/06/1918
Regiment/Service: East Lancashire Regiment, 11th Bn
Cemetery/memorial reference: I. A. 14.
Cemetery: AVAL WOOD MILITARY CEMETERY, VIEUX-BERQUIN