Challener, John

John Challener, Private 52021, “A” Coy. 2nd Bn. King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry
Killed in action 11th August 1918 in France, aged 18

 

EARLY LIFE

John Challener was born in Macclesfield in 1899, the son of Harriett (nee Bagnall) and Harry Challener, a cabinet maker. In 1901, one-year-old John was living at 20 Brook St, Macclesfield with his parents, brother Harry (4), and widowed maternal grandfather Samuel Bagnall. Ten years later in 1911 the family was living at the same address and included Dorothy, born in 1901.

The family later moved to 29 Brook Street.

 

MILITARY SERVICE

John Challener was conscripted in 1917 on reaching the age of 18, joining the Lancashire Fusiliers with service number 48418. He was later transferred to the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry and drafted to France in early April 1918. He was killed in action four months later on 11 August 1918.

The death of Private John Challener was reported in the Macclesfield Times on 6 September 1918:

Pte John Challenor, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, son of Mr and Mrs H Challenor, 29 Brook Street, Macclesfield, has made the supreme sacrifice. His parents first received the new from one of his comrades, but last week they were officially notified that he was killed in action on August 11th. Pte Challener was only 18 years of age. Enlisting in 1917, he was sent out to France in Easter week this year without a draft leave. He was educated at Mill Street Higher Grade School and Macclesfield Grammar School, and on leaving was employed as a clerk by Mr Gaddum. He attended St Paul’s Church, where he was a regular communicant. Pte Challener partook of the Holy Sacrament on Remembrance Day in France. A brother is serving in France with the Manchester Regt.

 

COMMEMORATION

Private John Challener has no known grave and is commemorated on Panel 8 of the Vis-en-Artois Memorial. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission holds casualty details for Private John Challener, and he is listed on the Imperial War Museum’s Lives of the First World War website.

Locally, Private John Challener is commemorated on the Park Green, Town HallSt Michael’s Church, St Paul’s Church and Macclesfield Grammar School war memorials.

 

NOTES

Brother of Harry Bagnall Challener, who served as Private 203546 with the Manchester Regiment and survived the war.

 

SOURCES

GRO (England & Wales) Index: Births
Census (England & Wales): 1901,1911
Soldiers Died in the Great War (Find My Past)
WWI British Army Medal Rolls Index Cards
Lives of the First World War website

Commonwealth War Graves Commission website
Macclesfield Times: 6 September 1918

 


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