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John Shuttleworth was born in March 1891 in Bamber Bridge.  His father was William Shuttleworth (b. 1868 in Preston), a cotton weaver.  His mother was Mary McLear (b. 1865 in Kirkham).  William and Mary were married in Preston in 1890 and moved to Bamber Bridge later that year.  They had 7 children, but three died in infancy.  John was born in 1891 and he had at least four sisters: Mary Elizabeth (b. 1893), Margaret (1896-1901), Jane (b. 1898) and Catherine (b. 1900).  William died in 1908, leaving Mary to bring up the young family.  In 1911, they were living at 1 Dewhurst’s Row.  John was a cotton spinner, two of his sisters were weavers and Kate, the youngest, was still at school.


John enlisted when War broke out in the Border Regiment.  He was assigned service number 18499 and posted to 7th Battalion.  7th (Service) Battalion was formed at Carlisle on 7 September 1914 as part of K2 and came under orders of 51st Brigade in 17th (Northern) Division. They spent the first half of 1915 in training then moved to France in July.  John joined the Battalion in the field on 24 July 1915.  For the rest of that year, after an initial period of trench familiarisation, the Division was engaged in holding the front lines in the southern area of the Ypres salient.


In early 1916, the Division was involved in fighting at the Bluff (south east of Ypres on the Comines canal), part of a number of engagements officially known as the Actions of Spring 1916.  At the beginning of February 1916, the Battalion was in billets at Ganspette, in north east France.  On 7 February, they left camp and marched to Audruicq where they entrained for Poperinge, west of Ypres.  They went into the trenches on 14-15 February, in some considerable danger and confusion as both sides were bombing each others’ trenches.  16 February was described as ‘fairly quiet’ though artillery was active both day and night.   There were further artillery attacks and trench raids on 17 February.  They withdrew to camp at Reningelst on 18 February.  During these 4-5 days in the trenches, they reported 20 men killed, one died of wounds and 92 were wounded.  John died of wounds at Lijssenthoek on 20 February 1916.  He was 24 years old.  His Battalion, unlike many others, was still maintaining lists of all men killed or wounded.


Rank:  Private

Service Number: 18499

Date of Death: 20/02/1916

Age:  24 (CWGC incorrectly records his age as 30)

Regiment/Service:  Border Regiment, 7th Bn. 
Cemetery/memorial reference: IV. D. 14A.


Additional Information:  Son of William and Mary Shuttleworth,

of 1 Bridge Street, Bamber Bridge, Preston.

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