[Skip to content]

  • 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 in August 1879. They had six children all of whom were baptised at Radford Christ Church: James Thackeray b. Ruddington 1883; Sybil Blanche b. Nottingham 1885; Horace Frank (also Frank Horace k/a Frank) b. Nottingham 1886; Geoffrey Herbert b. Nottingham birth registered 1888 (J/F/M) bap. 27 March 1888; John Wilfrid b. Nottingham birth registered 1893 (J/F/M) bap. 22 February 1893 and Florence Maud b. Nottingham 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, Sybil, Frank and Geoffrey . Also in the household was Sarah's widowed mother, Eliza Thackeray 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 and Florence were in the home on the night of the census. Also in the household were seven domestic servants: ladies' maid, cook, parlour maid, two house maids, kitchen maid and scullery maid. James was a gentleman cadet at Woolwich, London (subsequently commissioned in the Royal Engineers, possibly in 1902), Sybil was at school in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, Frank at school in Great Malvern, Worcestershire, and Geoffrey 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 domestic 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. John's brother Geoffrey Herbert served in the Sherwood Foresters and died of wounds on 25 October 1915. (See 'Extra information') James Thackeray served in the Royal Engineers and was awarded the DSO in the New Year Honours List, 1918: 'Maj. James Thackeray Fisher, Royal Engineers'. He served in India after the war and retired in the rank of lieutenant colonel. The youngest sibling, Florence Maud, probably died in 1918 (J/F/M) 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.
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 10 July 1915 and posted to the 10th Battalion Sherwood Foresters. He served with the Battalion in France from 14 July 1915. He was wounded in the hand by a German sniper at Sanctuary Wood on 30 October 1915, five days after his brother Geoffrey had died in France of wounds received in action. John rejoined his battalion on 11 December 1915 at Ypres where he took over command of “D” Company. He was wounded for the second time on 16 February 1916 when in the front line just south-east of Ypres, and for the third time on 3 March 1916 when he did not rejoin the battalion until 15 June 1916. He was wounded again when in the Quadrangle Support Line near Contalmaison on 7 July 1916 and died from his wounds on 8 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. London Gazette, 30 March 1916. Citation: '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.' He qualified for the 1914/15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal.
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' Retford and Worksop Herald and North Notts Advertiser. 7 September 1915: ‘Great Northern Employees Killed. ‘Tiny Davison.’ Pte. ‘Tiny’ Davison, 10th Sherwood Foresters, and a general favourite with the platform staff at the station, has been killed in action ... Captain JW Fisher, writing on Monday, says: ’I very much regret that it is my duty to tell you that your son, Pte. W Davison, was wounded in the trenches on the 27th, and has died of his wounds. At the time he was attending to another wounded man. I must express to you how sorry I am to have lost him. He always did his work well."' (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Davison - see record on this Roll of Honour. Nottingham Evening Post, 29 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 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)
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