John James Woodhouse, Gunner 160209, “D” Bty. 256th Bde. Royal Field Artillery
Died of wounds 12th September 1918 in France, aged 30
Son of Levi and Elizabeth Woodhouse; husband of Laura Woodhouse (nee Bracegirdle), of 10 Duke St, Macclesfield, Cheshire. Native of Warrington.
It is not known how John Woodhouse (born Warrington) met Laura Bracegirdle (born Macclesfield), but they were married at Preston in 1915. Their son, John, was born in Macclesfield in 1916 and Laura lived with her parents at 10 Duke Street while her husband was serving in the Army.
John enlisted in Preston in September 1916 and was drafted out to France in February 1917. He was included on the Macclesfield Absent Voters’ List for 1918 at 10 Duke Street.
It is not known when and where Gunner Woodhouse was gassed but he was taken to No 2 Canadian General Hospital at Le Treport, France, where he died on 12 September 1918, just three hours before his wife arrived from Macclesfield to see him.
The death of Gunner Woodhouse was reported in the Macclesfield Times on 20 September 1918:
Gunner John James Woodhouse, Royal Field Artillery, died in hospital in France on September 12th from gas poisoning. His wife, who resides at 10 Duke Street, Macclesfield, was notified on Wednesday week that his condition was serious. She immediately went to France and arrived at the hospital at Le Treport about three hours after he had passed away. Gunner Woodhouse was 30 years of age, and enlisting in September 1916, went out to France in February 1917. In civil life he was employed by Messrs Hulton’s, of Manchester, in the commercial department at the Preston branch office.
Gunner John Woodhouse is buried in grave ref VIII. E. 13B. of the Mont Huon Military Cemetery, Le Treport, France. His widow asked for the inscription “FOR GREATER LOVE HATH NO MAN THAN THIS THAT A MAN LAY DOWN HIS LIFE FOR HIS FRIEND” to be added to his headstone.
Locally, Gunner John Woodhouse is not known to be commemorated on any war memorial, but he is remembered on a family grave in Macclesfield Cemetery, plot A.722.
GRO (England & Wales) Index: Births, Marriages
Census (England & Wales): 1891, 1901, 1911
WWI Absent Voters Lists (FindMyPast): Macclesfield Parliamentary Division
Lives of the First World War website
Commonwealth War Graves Commission website