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John Maudsley (sometimes the family name is written Mawdsley) was born in the second quarter of 1889 in Preston.  Soon after his family was living on Tardy Gate Lane, near Charnock Moss, in what is now Lostock Hall.  His father Richard Maudsley was born in Clitheroe in 1860 and he was a farmer.  His mother was Catherine Wignall (b. 1860 in Bamber Bridge).  Richard and Catherine were married in 1879 and they had 7 children, but sadly only 2 survived infancy: John and his sister Florence (b. 1893).  The children never knew their father since Richard died in 1893, leaving Catherine to bring up the little ones on her own.  Catherine went back to work as a weaver and in 1901 she and the children were lodging at 28 Dean Street, Bamber Bridge.  By 1911, the family had a house of their own at 11 Brandiforth Street, Bamber Bridge.  Catherine was no longer employed but John and Florence were weavers in the mill across the road.  John married the following year, to Margaret Livesey, but I don’t have any more biographical details for her.


It’s possible that John may have gone to school in Tardy Gate.  He enlisted at the start of the War in the Scots Guards and this was a popular regiment with men from Lostock Hall, but less so in Bamber Bridge.  He was assigned service number 11623 and posted to 2nd Battalion.  He landed in France on 2 April 1915.  At that time (before the formation of the Guards Division in August 1915), the Scots Guards came under orders of 20th Brigade in 7th Division.  He was thrown immediately into one of the worst disasters in the War so far– at Aubers Ridge.  The British sustained more than 11,000 casualties on 9 May, the vast majority within yards of their own front-line trench.  A second attempt was to be made on 13 May, when a bombardment would begin, and 7th Division made their infantry attack on 16 May.  Eventually, Festubert was captured on 25 May and the front advanced by 3kms.  John Maudsley was killed in action on 16 May and his body was never recovered.  He was 26 years old and had spent barely 6 weeks at the front.


Rank:  Private

Service Number: 11623

Date of Death:  16/05/1915

Regiment/Service:  Scots Guards, 2nd Bn. 
Cemetery/memorial reference: Panel 3 and 4.


john maudsley.jpg

This photo was kindly sent to me by Neil Maudsley, John's great-grandson.

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