John Thomas Forrest Ault, Private 31262, 1st Bn. Grenadier Guards
Died of wounds 26th November 1918 in France, aged 27
John Thomas Forrest Ault was born in 1891 and baptised at Hurdsfield Holy Trinity Church on 22 November 1891, the son of Mary and William Ault, a pork butcher of Hurdsfield. By 1901, John’s father had died and the family had moved to 8 Patten St, Withington, Didsbury, Lancashire, where nine-year-old John was living with his widowed mother and siblings James W (16), Florence J (14) and Laurence (2). In 1911, the family had returned to live at 130 Hurdsfield Road, Macclesfield and John was employed as a silk dresser.
John later became a policeman, and was so described when he married Gertrude Wood by licence at Harpurhey Parish Church, Lancashire on 1 November 1915; both bride and groom gave their address as 29 Barker Street, Harpurhey.
John enlisted in Manchester, joining the Grenadier Guards. It is not known when or how he was wounded but he was admitted to No 11 Stationary Hospital, Rouen, and died there from his wounds on 26 November 1918.
Private Ault’s death was reported in the Macclesfield Times on Friday 6 December 1918:
Pte Thomas Forrest Ault, Grenadier Guards, died at the 11th Stationary Hospital, Rouen, on November 26th. He was the second son of Mrs Ault, of Hurdsfield, Macclesfield.
His death was also reported in the Manchester Evening News on 17 December 1918:
Pte J T Ault, King’s Company, Grenadier Guards, 3 Crystal Street, Queen’s Road, Manchester, died of wounds 26th November 1918, was a member of the city police.
Private John Ault is buried at St. Sever Cemetery Extension, Rouen, France, grave ref. S. III. K. 8. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission holds casualty details for Private John Ault, and he is listed on the Imperial War Museum’s Lives of the First World War website.
Locally, Private John Ault is commemorated on the Park Green, Town Hall, St Michael’s Church and Hurdsfield Holy Trinity Church war memorials. Elsewhere, he is remembered on the Manchester City Police HQ war memorial, now located at the City Police Station, Manchester Town Hall Extension.
Brother of James William Ault, who served as Lance-Corporal 151457 with the Royal Engineers and was recorded in 1918 as an absent voter of 23 Charlotte St, Macclesfield; and Laurence Meredith Ault, who served as Acting Lance-Corporal 290775 with the 7th Cheshire Regiment, was recorded in 1918 as an absent voter of 130 Hurdsfield Road, Macclesfield, and joined Manchester Police Force on 2 February 1921.
GRO (England & Wales) Index: Births, Marriages
Census (England & Wales): 1901, 1911
Manchester Parish Registers (FamilySearch): Harpurhey Parish Church, Manchester
Soldiers Died in the Great War (Find My Past)
WWI British Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects (Ancestry)
WWI Absent Voters Lists (FindMyPast)
Manchester & Lancashire FHS, Manchester Police Records Index
Commonwealth War Graves Commission website
Lives of the First World War website
Macclesfield Times: 6 December 1918
Manchester Evening News: 17 December 1918