John William Durham

Memorial: Wickwar - Holy Trinity Church

Regiment: Somerset Light Infantry

Medals: 1914–15 Star, British War Medal, Next of Kin Memorial Plaque 1914 - 1921, Victory Medal

Rank and number: Private 11338

Parents: John and Sarah Derham (nee Chappell)

Home address: Hill House Cottage, Wickwar

Pre-war occupation: Cask washer in a brewery in 1911

Date of birth: 1895

Place of birth: Wickwar

Date of death: 23/04/1917

Buried/Commemorated at: Arras Memorial (Bay 4.), France

Age: 23

Further information:

John William was born in 1895 in Wickwar. He was the son of John and Sarah Durham (also sometimes spelt Derham) and brother to Frederick and May and half brother to William, Albert and James Morley, after his widowed mother had remarried and become Sarah Morley. His father died when he was four years old. His mother lived at Hill House Cottage in Wickwar (James died in infancy)

John was working as a cask washer in a brewery in 1911

John enlisted in Ferndale in Glamorgan and joined the 8th (Service) Battalion of the Somerset Light Infantry as a private. He was a regimental signaller so he would have been responsible for his troop’s communications. There is a copy of a family photo of him on the Wickwar WWI file (at Yate and District Heritage Centre) showing him dressed in his uniform

John was Killed in Action on the 23rd April 1917 (on the same day as Herbert Dando) at the age of 23. He is commemorated on the Arras Memorial in France. He is also commemorated on the Wickwar war memorials and the Chipping Sodbury Cottage Hospital Memorial Board (now at Yate and District Heritage Centre). He was awarded the Victory, British War and 1914-15 Star medals

Please see the book “Lest We Forget” by Arthur Threlfall Searson for more information, letters and photographs

By kind permission, this information is based on the following source(s):

Yate and District Heritage Centre and the book "Lest We Forget" by Arthur Threlfall Searson. Forces War Records and CWGC