Born in 1884 at Thurlstone, Yorkshire, son of Samsonand Ruth Kirkham, of, School Wells, Thurlstone. In 1911, they were living at Cut Thorn Farm, Wildboarclough. Before enlisting John worked as a farm labourer for Mr William Waller, at Nessitt Farm, Sutton, before working on the Earl of Derby’s, Clough House Farm. John had a twin sister, Ann, and his younger brother Ben, also had a twin sister, Ada.
They enlisted at Macclesfield, and whether by design or accident, they were both in the same Regiment, same Battalion, and each finished up fighting at the Flanders offensive. The Second Army began the third phase of its offensive on the 4th October 1917. The 5th Division had to capture the spur south west of Reutel (Polderhoek) to protect the flank of the Army. The 1st Battalion were in reserve in Sanctuary Wood suffering an average of 12 men killed and 40 wounded daily from shell fire. The 1st Battalion was destined to exploit the success of the 95th Brigade, but, as success was not obtained, it had to endure, as patiently as it could, the inevitable shelling of reserve positions. John died of his wounds to the head, 05/10/1917, aged 24 years, the day after his younger brother was killed.
Cheshire County Memorial Project would like to thank H.A.G Carlisle for this information on John.