John Withers attended Hasbury C of E School and volunteered for the Worcester Territorials. He joined the 1/7th Battalion which landed in France in March 1915 and saw front line action in Artois. In July 1916 they were involved in the second phase of the Battle of the Somme. German resistance in the centre of the battle zone at the village of Ovillers was eventually overcome at heavy cost and the Worcesters were relieved. They returned in November to the front line and helped to push the front line up to the Butte de Warlencourt, the final objective of the Battle of the Somme. After a German raid on their trenches in early December a retaliatory raid was planned. It was highly successful but Private John Withers was severely wounded. He died of wounds on the 4th December and is buried at Warlencourt Cemetery (VII H 42) and commemorated on the Halesowen and Hasbury School Memorials.
ST JOHN THE BAPTIST CHURCH,High St,Halesowen,Dudley,West Midlands,B63 3BB,England, B63 3BB
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