John Knowles was the son of Mr and Mrs W. Knowles and came from Colley Gate, Cradley. He attended Colley Lane School and was then employed as a bricklayer. 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 and in September they came into the front line for the third phase and the Battle of the Menin Road. It started on the 20th September 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 at Dunhallow Advanced Dressing Station Cemetery on the Fusilier Wood Memorial. 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.
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