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141318 PTE. J. E. NEWMAN. R.G.A.


John Emerson Newman was born in the third quarter of 1878 in Merry Hill, near Wolverhampton.  His father was William Newman (b. 1853 in Twickenham), a house painter and decorator.  His mother was Mary Elizabeth Leach (b. 1852 in Tettenhall, Staffordshire).  Mary had an illegitimate daughter, Fanny, in 1869.  She and William were married in 1873 and they went on to have (at least) 7 children: Honor Elizabeth (b. 1974), William Lewis (b. 1875), then John, then Catherine Ann (b. 1881), George Harry (b. 1883), Edith Helen (b. 1890), and finally Cyril Arthur (b. 1893).  William died in 1900.  John Emerson Newman is not in the 1901 Census and I believe at this time he was in the army serving in South Africa.  The evidence is circumstantial but it seems to add up.  In the UK Register of Soldiers’ Effects, where it records that John died of wounds, underneath it says “So. Africa”.  There is also a record of a J. E. Newman as a casualty of the Boer War.  This man was serving in the Royal Field Artillery, as Acting Bomber with 38th Battery (service number 20895), when he was wounded at De Klip Drift on 7 March 1902.  In any case, we find John Newman again in 1910 in King’s Norton, Worcestershire, where the married Dorothy Beatrice Helen Hayter (b. 1887 in Croydon) and the following year he was working as a gardener (later head gardener) on the Cuerden estate, living at 1 Rose Cottages, Cuerden.  Just before the Census they had had a daughter, Joan Dorothy, and John’s mother had moved from Staffordshire to live with them.

According to the newspaper article, John Newman was called up in early 1917.  He was posted to the Royal Garrison Artillery, assigned service number 141318 and attached to 194 Siege Battery.  194 Bty landed in France in January 1917.  I haven’t been able to find a war diary for this battery, so all we know is that John Emerson Newman died of wounds at Abbeville General Hospital on 19 August 1917.  He was 38 years old.


Rank:  Private

Service Number:  141318

Date of Death:  19/08/1917

Age:  38

Regiment/Service:  Royal Garrison Artillery, 194th Siege Bty.

Cemetery/memorial reference: III. C. 3.


Additional Information:  Husband of D. B. H. Newman, of Llanbedr Rectory, Talycafn, Carnarvonshire.  (CWGC incorrectly records her initials as A. B. H.)


In 1925, Dorothy remarried, in Carnarvon, to Robert Owen.  She died in 1971.

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