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  • Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone marking his grave at Heilly Station cemetery, Mericourt-L'Abbe Somme, France. Courtesy of Murray Biddle
Person Details
John Wilfred (Jack) was the fourth son of Horace Arthur and Sarah Kate Fisher (nee Thackeray). His father Horace Arthur was born in Hyson Green, Nottingham, in 1854 the son of James and Emma Fisher. He was baptised at St Paul, Hyson Green, on 3 December 1854. His mother Sarah Kate was born in Nottingham in 1854, the daughter of John Lawson and Eliza Thackerary. She was baptised at Radford Christ Church on 21 October 1854. Horace Arthur and Sarah Kate were married at Arnold St Mary on 26 August 1879 (J/A/S Basford). They had six children all of whom were baptised at Radford Christ Church: James Thackeray b. Ruddington 26 March 1883 (A/M/J Basford) bap. 22 May 1883; Sybil Blanche b. Nottingham 28 March 1885 (A/M/J Basford) bap. 15 May 1885; Horace Frank (also Frank Horace k/a Frank) b. Nottingham 15 September 1886 (O/N/D Nottingham) bap. 20 November 1886; Geoffrey Herbert b. Nottingham birth registered 1888 (J/F/M Nottingham) bap. 27 March 1888; John Wilfrid b. Nottingham birth registered 1893 (J/F/M Nottingham) bap. 22 February 1893 and Florence Maud b. Nottingham 1894 (J/A/S Nottingham) bap. 16 August 1894. In 1881 Horace (26), a lace manufacturer, and Sarah (26) were living at Arnon House, Ruddington. They employed three staff, a cook, parlour maid and groom. Their first child, James Thackeray, was born in Ruddington two years later in March 1883 but by the time of his baptism in the May they were living in The Park, Nottingham. By 1891 Horace and Sarah were living at Duke William Mount, Newcastle Circus, Standard Hill, Nottingham, with their four children James (8), Sybil (6), Frank (4) and Geoffrey (3). Also in the household was Sarah's widowed mother, Eliza Thackeray (68) who was 'living on own means'. Horace and Sarah employed a cook, butler, house maid, nurse (domestic), under nurse (domestic) and a kitchen maid. The family had moved to The Hills, Bramcote, Nottingham by 1901 but only the two youngest children, John (8) and Florence (6) were in the home on the night of the census. Also in the household were seven servants: ladies' maid, cook, parlour maid, two house maids, kitchen maid and scullery maid. James (18) was a gentleman cadet at Woolwich, London (subsequently commissioned in the Royal Engineers, possibly in 1902), Sybil (16) was at school in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, Frank (14) at school in Great Malvern, Worcestershire, and Geoffrey (13) at school in Eastbourne, Sussex. Horace had retired by 1911 ('private means') and was living with his wife at Arno Vale, Arnold, with three of his six children: Frank, a mining engineer, Sybil and John. Also in the household were seven servants: cook, two parlour maids, house maid, maid, under-maid and kitchen maid. At the time of the 1911 census James was at the Garrison, Sheerness, a lieutenant 39 Corps Royal Engineers, but Geoffrey and Florence have not yet been traced, although Geoffrey, who would have been about 23 years old, may have already been pursuing an agricultural career in Canada. Geoffrey Herbert served in the Sherwood Foresters and died of wounds on 25 October 1915 and John Wilfred died of wounds nine months later in July 1916. James Thackeray suvived the war and was awarded the DSO in the New Year Honours List, 1918: 'Maj. James Thackeray Fisher, Royal Engineers'. The youngest sibling, Florence Maud, probably died in 1918 (J/F/M Nottingham) aged 24. Their father Horace Arthur died on 30 January 1937 aged 82. He had lived at Car Colston Hall, Nottinghamshire, for several years before his death. His widow, Sarah Kate, died on 6 June 1939; the probate record gives her address at Whatton Grange, Nottinghamshire. Of John's surviving siblings: James Thackeray served with the Royal Engineers in France from 4 October 1915 and after the war served in India; he retired in the rank of lieutenant-colonel. He married Mary Sophia Darra Mair (21) of Stone Court, Carshalton, Surrey, daughter of the late Dr. Laurie William David Mair, on 15 June 1918 at Carshalton All Saints. In 1939 when the England & Wales Register was compiled James and Mary were living at Fireston Green, Caythorpe, Grantham, Lincolnshire. They continued to live at Fireston Green until their deaths, James on 6 May 1967 and Mary on 12 May 1981. Sybil Blanche was living at The Grange, Aslockton near Bingham, in 1939 ('single, private means'). She later lived at Derbyshire House, Station Road, East Leake, and died there on 21 March 1976. Frank Horace married Constance Lesley Orton (28) of Congreve House, Bedworth, daughter of the late Dr Edward William Orton (physician and surgeon), on 23 March 1915 at Bedworth Parish Church. At the time of his marriage Frank was residing at Temple Lodge, Swinton, Lancashire. In 1939 they were living at 12 Warwick New Road, Royal Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, with their daughter Lorna V Fisher (b. 28 December 1924); Frank had retired. He died on 26 February 1965 at Clarendon Place, Leamington Spa but his home was still at 12 Warwick Road.
He was educated at Malvern and Trinity College Cambridge.
08 Jul 1916
270939 - CWGC Website
Arno Vale, Arnold, Nottingham
  • DSO DSO Distinguished Service Order
10th Bn Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment)
John Wilfred does not appear in the army lists until commissioned as a temporary captain on 10th July 1915 and posted to the 10th Battalion Sherwood Foresters. He served with the Battalion in France from 14th July 1915. He was wounded in the hand by a German sniper at Sanctuary Wood on the 30th October 1915, five days after his brother Geoffrey had died in France of wounds received in action. John rejoined his battalion on the 11th December 1915 at Ypres where he took over command of “D” Company. He was wounded for the second time on 16th February 1916 when in the front line just south-east of Ypres, and for the third time on 3rd March 1916 when he did not rejoin the battalion until 15th June 1916. He was wounded again when in the Quadrangle Support Line near Contalmaison on 7th July 1916 and died from his wounds on 8th July 1916. He was buried in the Heilly Station Cemetery Mericourt-L-'abbe, France (grave ref. l.A.5). John was awarded the Distinguished Service Order on the London Gazette of 30th March 1916, and his citation reads:- For conspicuous gallantry on 14th February 1916, near the Ypres – Comines Canal. When the enemy blew up a portion of the front trench, he drove off their attack and skilfully organised the defence. He continued fighting long after he was wounded, and set a fine example to all around him.
His elder brother Geoffrey Herbert Fisher, 1/8th Battalion Sherwood Foresters, died of wounds on 25 October 1915 and was buried in Etaples Military Cemetery (see record on this Roll of Honour). CWGC headstone personal inscription: Thine eyes shall see the King Article published in the Nottingham Evening Post, 29th October 1915:- “CAPTAIN J. W. FISHER WOUNDED. “Captain John Wilfrid [sic] Fisher, of the 10th Sherwood Foresters, son of Mr. H. A. Fisher, of Arnot Vale, Daybrook, was slightly wounded in the right hand on the 23rd inst. [October 1915] He is in hospital in France and is making satisfactory progress.” Above article courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Huckanall 1914-1918. Nottingham Evening Post, 13 July 1916: ‘Died of Wounds. Captain JW Fisher DSO. Capt. John Wilfrid Fisher, DSO, who died of wounds on July 8th, in his 23rd year, was the fourth son of Mr Horace Fisher, of Arno Vale, Nottingham. He was completing his education at Cambridge at the outbreak of the war, and was gazetted to the Sherwood Foresters in September, 1914. Three months later he gained his second star, and was promoted to a captaincy in July last. It is barely four months ago since he was awarded the DSO for conspicuous gallantry. When the enemy blew up a portion of the front trench he drove off the attack, and skilfully organised the defence. He continued fighting long after he was wounded, and set a fine example to all around him.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Probate: Fisher John Wilfred of Arno Vale Arnold Nottinghamshire captain in HM Army died 8 July 1916 in France Administration Nottingham 16 February to Horace Arthur Fisher esquire. Effects £261 13s. Nottingham Evening Post, 3 February 1937: ‘Former Lace Manufacturer. Funeral at Car Colston of Mr HA Fisher. The funeral took place at Car Colston Parish Church, yesterday, of Mr Horace Arthur Fisher, who died at his residence, Car Colston Hall, on Saturday, at the age of 82. Mr Fisher was a native of Notts, and for many years carried on business as a lace net manufacturer in Nottingham. He was a justice of the peace and in his younger days was a very keen shot. He had resided at Car Colston Hall for the last three or four years and formerly lived at Arno-vale. The service was conducted by the Rev HS King, rector of East Bridgford, assisted by the Rev TES Ferris, rector of Screveton with Car Colston. The family mourners included Lieut-Col. JT Fisher (son), Mrs Fisher (daughter-in-law), Mr FH Fisher (son) and Miss Fisher [Sybil Blanche] (daughter).’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Probate: Fisher Horace Arthur of Car Colston Hall Car Colston Nottinghamshire died 30 January 1937 Probate Nottingham 17 March to James Thackeray Fisher DSO retired lieutenant-colonel HM Army Sybil Blanche Fisher spinster and William Noel Parr solicitor. Effects £148951 1s. 4d. Resworn £148892 5s. 5d. Probate: Fisher Sarah Kate of Whatton Grange Nottinghamshire widow died 6 June 1939 Proabte Nottingham 17 August to James Thackeray Fisher retired lieutenant-colonel HM army and Bernard William Langford Bulkeley director of education. Effects £8178 9s. 5d.
Remembered on


  • Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone marking his grave at Heilly Station cemetery, Mericourt-L'Abbe Somme, France. Courtesy of Murray Biddle
    John Wilfred Fisher - Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone marking his grave at Heilly Station cemetery, Mericourt-L'Abbe Somme, France. Courtesy of Murray Biddle