John Knowles came from Colley Gate, where he was a bricklayer, and was the son of Mr and Mrs W. Knowles. He was also a member of the Colley Gate United Methodist chapel and enlisted in the Worcesters in 1915. He was married in 1916, probably after the completion of his training. He joined the 10th Battalion and experienced the later stages of the Somme. In 1917 the Worcesters were in reserve for the opening day of the Third Battle of Ypres on the 31st July but in September they came into the front line for the third phase and the Battle of the Menin Road. It started on the 20th with an attack over open ground followed by a German counter-attack. Some ground was won but the losses were about a third of the battalion's strength. Private John Knowles was killed when he volunteered to assist an injured comrade and was shot instantly. He is commemorated on the Fusilier Wood Memorial in the Duhallow Advanced Dressing Station Cemetery. The original memorial was at Hollebeke near the Menin Road but was destroyed by shelling. He is also commemorated on the Cradley and Halesowen Memorials.
Mary Stevens Park, Stourbridge, West Midlands, United Kingdom
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