John William Fallon, Private 9479, 1st Battalion, Cheshire Regiment
Killed in action 14th November 1914 in Belgium, aged 22
John William Fallon was born in 1892 in Sheffield, and was known as William. His parents must have died, or were unable to look after him, as he was admitted to Owler Lane School, Sheffield, by the Board of Guardians for the Sheffield Cottage Homes, having previously attended St George’s National School in Beet Street, Sheffield. The Owler Lane School admissions register notes that William was admitted on 16 December 1902 and left the school on the following day because he left the Sheffield Cottage Homes, and it is likely that this is when William was sent to Macclesfield Industrial School.
William left Macclesfield Industrial School in 1908, and in 1911, he was recorded on the census as William John Fallon, aged 18, born Sheffield, living at Hill Top Farm, Wincle, employed as a waggoner. William later moved to Abbey Farm, Chelford.
William attested at Macclesfield and was probably a volunteer in the Army before the start of the war, as he was drafted to France on 31st August 1914.
William served on the Ypres Salient, and in The History of the Cheshire Regiment in the Great War, Col Arthur Crookenden states that the close of the battles of Ypres was a period of continuous shelling, of readjustments of the front, which caused unnecessary casualties; between the 5th and 20th of November 1914 the 1st Battalion of the Cheshire Regiment lost almost 200 men – 35 killed, 99 wounded and 65 missing. William was assumed to have been killed in action on 14 November 1914.
William was mistakenly reported to be wounded in the Macclesfield Times of 5 February 1915: Dec. 9th – Pte W Fallon, Abbey Farm, Chelford, wounded; but in fact he was reported as ‘killed’ in the official casualty report of 9 December 1914.
Private William Fallon has no known grave and is commemorated on panel ref. 19-22 of the Menin Gate memorial at Ypres in West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission holds casualty details for Private William Fallon, and he is listed on the Imperial War Museum’s Lives of the First World War website.
Locally, Private William Fallon is commemorated on the Macclesfield Industrial School war memorial, and on the Chelford war memorial.
GRO (England & Wales) Index: Births
Census (England & Wales): 1911
National School Admission Registers and Log-books: Owler Lane School, Sheffield
WWI British Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects
WWI British Army Medal Rolls Index Cards
Commonwealth War Graves Commission website
Macclesfield Times: 5 February 1915