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Person Details
John or Jack as he was known was born in 1894 the only son of John Fleming and Helena Mowbray (née Fleming) of 2 Cambridge Terrace Sunderland. On the 1901 census he is living with his mother Helena with his grandmother Ann Fleming a widow at Cambridge Street Sunderland. His father born 1861 died in 1917 and his mother Helena 1862-1917 died a short time following Jack's death in 1917.
He attended St Cuthbert's College Sparken Hill Worksop between 1903 and 1911
16 Sep 1917
2972443 - CWGC Website
Second Mate
Mercantile Marine Reserve
He received his second mate's certificate in Sunderland on 27th July 1915 and served on board the motor vessel Arabis. which was torpedoed and sunk on 16th September 1917. He name is commemorated on the Tower Hill Memorial, London.
The following is a letter published in ' The Cutherbtian' March 1918 issue no 1 from William Fleming uncle of John Fleming Mowbray: Bank of Liverpool Chambers, Middlesborough, 8-1-18. I am sure you will regret to hear of the death of one of your old boys. My nephew, John Fleming Mowbray, joined St Cuthbert's about 1903 and left about 1910 or 1911. He adopted the sea as a profession, and at the time of his death was 2nd mate of S.S. Arabis, on Government Transport. This vessel was torpedoed in the Atlantic on September 16th last, and sank in four minutes, being almost blown in two. The life-boats were all severely damaged, the only serviceable boat being the dingy. Eighteen of the crew got into it, and though it was blowing strongly, managed to land at the Azores 90 miles away. The remainder, including every officer, two gunners, and the wireless man, were left with an unseaworthy boat, and have not since been heard of. The boat was afterwards discovered but no trace of the remainder of the crew. The owners of the vessel and others state there is no hope. It will, I know, be pleasant to you to know Jack was in every respect a good boy and would, if he had lived, been a credit to himself, his mother, and to his school. He was the only child of his mother, who is now a lonely woman. They were devoted to each other, and as she says he never caused her a single hour's anxiety in his life. This war is a ghastly business, and it is heartbreaking to think that the very flower of the manhood of the world is being so brutally sacrificed to gratify the aims of the Kaiser and his crowd. It sometimes makes one falter in one's Faith and wonder why the Almighty permits these horrors to continue, but I suppose He will end things in His own good time. I do not apologise for troubling you ; I know you would like to know one of your old boys, thanks to the training he received at S. Cuthberts', did his duty to his country as well as his mother.-WM. FLEMING.
Remembered on