Rosebank in Kingsbury Episcopi

John Down


John Down | Kingsbury Time Travellers | Photo of Local Soldier WW1 Rosebank in Kingsbury Episcopi

Rank, service number and regiment

Sergeant 22454 8th Battalion, Somerset Light Infantry

Enlisted

Castle Cary, Somerset 1915

Home address

2 Rosebank, Owl Street, East Lambrook in the 1901 census.

Date of death

3 March 1918

Age of death

24 years

Circumstances of death

The 8th Battalion. Somerset Light Infantry were engaged in responding to the Kaiserschlact or German Spring Offensive in 1918 and were defending the south-east side of the Ypres salient. Sergeant Down, according to the Battalion Diary, was one of 4 casualties of German gunfire whilst in a front-line trench between 1 March and 5 March 1918. He was initially buried near to where he was killed in Bass Wood. This and other small burial plots were moved to the much larger Hooge Crater CWGC Cemetery after hostilities had ceased.

Where buried

Hooge Crater Commonwealth War Graves Commission
Cemetery, near Ypres, Belgium

Date of birth & full name

Hooge Crater Commonwealth War Graves Commission
Cemetery, near Ypres, Belgium

Occupation

Farm Labourer

Parents

Edwin James Down and Rosina Down (nee Marks), married 1889.

Spouse & children

John was unmarried

Awards

British War Medal and Victory Medal.

Other information

According to the 1911 census, Edwin James Down, John’s father, was a farm labourer, Rosina, his mother, was a glove maker. They had the following children at home in 1911:
Louisa Marks born 1890 – glove maker
Bessie born 1891 – glove maker
John born 1894, died 1918 – farm labourer
Mark born 1897 – farm labourer
Edwin James born 1899 – school
Frederick H born 1901 – school
Florence Amy born 1904 – school
Harry, John’s older brother, who was not living at home in 1911, was also killed in the war. Brothers Mark and Edwin James also went to the war but both survived. Mark was in the Army Veterinary Corps.
The Down family lived next door to Joseph Walden of Willow Cottage. Bessie Down, their sister, married Ben Russ. Joseph Walden and Ben Russ were also killed in the war.
An extract from the census is shown in the image below.

Census | John Down