WW1 Casualty: Sergeant 240014 John Berry -
Sergeant 240014 John Berry
||2nd/4th Bn., South Lancashire Regiment
|Date of Death
||Age at Death
St Martin Calvaire British Cemetery
II A 6
|CWGC Family Details (if shown)
||Son of William and Margaret Berry; husband of Elizabeth Barbara Berry, of Paradise Lane, Whiston, Prescot, Lancs
Birth Registered Q3 1880, Prescot, 8b, 691
||1901 Census -
The family lived at 20P, Kemble Street, Prescot and comprised William, aged 55 and an Assurance Agent, his wife Margaret, 55, and children Samuel (31), Amelia (27), Thomas (25), John (20) who was a wire insulation machinist, William (18), Robert (16), Alfred (14), Florence (10) and Marrion (4),
1911 Census -
John Berry was a 30 year old Switch Worker at the Wire Works. He had been married to his wife Barbara b Berry, 28, for 7 years and they had three children; Arthur Herbert (7), Edith May (3) and Lily Marion (3 months). The family lived at 19, Mines Avenue, Prescot
|SDGW – Where Born
||Died of Wounds
||Theatre of War
||France & Flanders
||Medal Index Card records John Berry’s rank as Warrant Officer 2nd Class (WO2)
|Research Ref. No.
John Berry attested for the Territorial Army on 16th April 1908, joining the 5th Battalion of the South Lancashire Regiment as Private 142. He was 27 years and 10 months old and worked as a "Wireman" at British Insulated & Helsby Cables Ltd in Prescot. His address was Paradise Lane, Whiston and his next of kin was his wife, Elizabeth, of the same address.
His service record shows that his Territorial service was on home soil, based in Widnes, until the outbreak of war on 4th August 1914. He attended the annual two weeks training camp for Territorials each year from 1908 to 1913.
An extract from John Berry’s original attestation into the Territorial Army in 1908
From 5th August 1914 until 16th March 1915, he was ranked as a Corporal, then temporarily promoted to Sergeant until 20th June 1916, when he was again promoted to acting Company Sergeant Major. This rank was made substantive on 17th February 1917, the day on which his unit embarked for France. He remained at the rank of CSM until 5th September 1917 when he was reduced back to the rank of Sergeant. By this time, he had been renumbered 240014.
Early in February 1917, the battalion was chosen for overseas service and on 15th February it left Frith Barracks and entrained for Folkstone. The battalion comprised 31 officers and 799 men. They arrived in Boulogne on the 18th, stayed in Hazebrouck for a few days then went to Sailly-sur-Lys in preparation for moving into the line. On 24th, they occupied trenches for the first time near Bois Grenier, where they remained until 4th March.
At this time, it was officially “quiet” on the Lys front, although the British were preparing for what they knew must be coming soon; a German assault. However, “quiet” was a relative term, and few days passed without a casualty of some sort, incurred by snipers, trench-mortars, raids (both attacking and defending), etc.
The battalion remained in this area until October 1917, when it moved to the Ypres sector. Here, they were mainly involved in Pioneer work, although they did serve in the trenches on the Pilckem Ridge.
In 1918, having been part of the defence against the German attack in March, by the middle of the year, the battalion moved to Arras, remaining out of the line from the end of July until the 17th August. By this time, the British counter-attacks were making significant headway and attacks on the German lines were becoming more frequent. On 2nd September, a large attack was launched against the Drocourt-Queant system of trenches, where it joined the Hindenberg Line. The battalion were at the forefront of this attack and all the objectives were taken at slight cost, despite strong German resistance.
The battalion was withdrawn from the line into reserve the following day, and it was also on this date that Sergeant Berry died from wounds received, probably in the attack of the previous day.
John Berry now rests in St Martin Calvaire British Cemetery.
He was entitled to the Territorial Force Efficiency Medal, the British War Medal and the Victory medal.
In February 1919, the Army Records Office wrote to his wife, sending her the private property of Sergeant Berry; identify disc, letters, card, photo, wallet, purse, spectacles in case, watch strap, cap badge, defaced fifty centimes note. On 24th February, Mrs. Berry wrote back, acknowledging receipt of his property.
John Berry's Medal Index Card[/pic]
John Berry's grave at St Martin Calvaire