John Findlow, Private R/367253, 62nd Re-mount Sqdn., Army Service Corps
Died 16th April 1918 in York Military Hospital, England, aged 41
John Findlow was born in Macclesfield in 1877, the son of Mary Jane and James Thomas Findlow, both silk weavers. In 1881, four-year-old John was living at 3 Court 1, Fountain St, Macclesfield with his parents and brothers James (6) and Albert (2). Ten years later the family, which also included seven-year-old George, had moved to 44 Daybrook St, Hurdsfield, and John had left school and was also employed as a silk weaver.
On 2 April 1897 John enlisted in Macclesfield with the 5th Battalion Cheshire Volunteer Corps, with service number 1618. He stated that he lived at 19 Parsonage St and was employed as a silk weaver by Mr Smale of Macclesfield. He was described as 5 feet 3 inches tall and weighed 126 pounds with a 34 inch chest.
John married Margaret Ann Barnes, a silk piecer, on Christmas Eve 1899 at St John’s Church, Statham St, Macclesfield, and the 1901 census, taken on 31 March that year, shows the couple living at 14 Henry St, Macclesfield with their son, John, who was just two days old. By 1911 the family had moved to 148 Park Lane but they had no more children.
John enlisted at Barrow-in-Furness and stated that he was living at Marton in Lancashire; it is assumed he had left Macclesfield to find work elsewhere. John joined the Army Service Corps 62nd Remount Squadron. A Remount Squadron consisted of approximately 200 men, usually older, experienced soldiers, who obtained and trained up to 500 horses at a time for the army’s use. Horses and mules were obtained during the war by compulsory purchase in the United Kingdom, and by purchasing from North and South America, New Zealand, Spain, Portugal, India and China.
Whilst serving in England, John had a serious accident; family anecdotes suggest he was kicked in the head by a mule. He was taken to York Military Hospital for treatment, but died from his injuries on 16 April 1918. His name was recorded in the national GRO death index as ‘John Tindlow’.
John’s funeral was reported in the Macclesfield Times on 26 April 1918:
The funeral took place at Macclesfield this week of Pte J Findlow, whose father resides in Parsonage Street. Pte Findlow, who was 41 years of age, met with an accident while training in England and died at the Military Hospital, York. The funeral service was conducted by Mr N B Storey, Mill Street Mission, with which the deceased was formerly connected. On Sunday night Mr Storey made appropriate reference to Pte Findlow.
An announcement of John’s death was placed in the Births, Marriages and Deaths section of the Macclesfield Courier on 27 April 1918:
FINDLOW – On April 16th, at the Military Hospital, York, John Findlow, aged 41 years.
Brother of James Findlow, who served as 70 (later 290005) Sergeant Cook with the 7th Cheshire Regiment and was discharged in 1917 after the end of his period of engagement (9 years service); and George William Findlow, who served as 25930 Pioneer with the Royal Engineers, 329 Quarrying Company. Both survived the war.
GRO (England & Wales) Index: Births, Deaths
Cheshire Parish Marriage Registers (Find My Past): St John’s Church, Macclesfield
Census (England & Wales): 1881, 1891, 1901, 1911
Soldiers Died in the Great War (Find My Past)
WWI British Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects (Ancestry)
Commonwealth War Graves Commission website
Lives of the First World War website
Fishergate, Fulford and Heslington Local History Society
Macclesfield Times: 26 April 1918
Macclesfield Courier: 27 April 1918