[Skip to content]

Person Details
John Newton was born in 1892 in Brinsley and was the son of Thomas a coal miner and Fanny Jane Newton, née Knighton of Church Lane Brinsley. His father Thomas was born in 1851 in Colston Bassett and his mother Fanny Jane Knighton was born in 1861 in Brinsley, they were married in 1881 their marriage is recorded in the Basford Registration District, they had 12 children , sadly three of whom died in infancy or early childhood their surviving children were all born in Brinsley and were : Elizabeth b1882, Isaac b1885, Maria b1887, Eliza b1889, Thomas b1891, John b1892, Mary b1894, George b1896, and Harry b1899. In the 1911 census the family are living at Church Lane Brinsley and are shown as Thomas 60 yrs a coal miner, he is living with his wife Fanny Jane 50 yrs and their children, Maria 24 yrs, Thomas 20 rs a coal miner, John 19 yrs a coal miner, Mary 17 yrs, George 15 yrs a scholar, Harry 13 yrs a scholar, also living with them are two grandchildren Cecil 9 yrs and Frederick 4yrs.
Coal miner
31 Aug 1915
278289 - CWGC Website
Church Lane Brinsley Nottinghamshire.
8th Bn Leicestershire Regiment
Private John Newton enlisted in Nottingham and served with 8th Battalion Leicestershire Regiment, landed in France on 29th July 1915. He was killed in a grenade training accident on 31st August 1915. He was buried n Mondicourt Communal Cemetery. He was killed alongside Pte Tomas Horobin and Pte. Albert Turton, also of 8th battalion Leicestershire Regiment also buried in Mondicourt Communal Cemetery. The accident took place at Mondicourt when one man, who was being shown how to use a British No. 1 Mk. III grenade dropped it. Horobin, Newton and Turton, as well as three others were killed outright.
A court of enquiry was held into the incident which resulted in multiple deaths and serious injuries. The following is taken from an incomplete set of documents in Pte Richard Ewart Pepper Stimpsons army service documents. The findings of the court are missing. Court of Enquiry [documents undated but probably held September 1915] Held on an accident occurring during bomb throwing practice in the 8th Battn, Leicestershire Regt. by order of the Brigadier General AGT Bainbridge, CB, comdg. 110th Inf. Brigade. 1st Evidence. Lieut FE Breacher, 8th Battn., states: At Modicourt on the 31st Aug. 1915 about 3.30pm I was standing about 50 yards from the trench from which a platoon group of the 8th Leicestershire Regt. were receiving instruction in bomb throwing and detonating when an explosion occurred followed by a louder explosion after a few seconds interval. Immediately after the 2nd explosion I rushed to the spot and found three killed, three dying and two badly injured close by. Forty yards or so in rear of the trench from which the bombs were thrown were several (about three) injured men lying on the ground. I immediately sent for the Medical Officers of the Brigade also for the ambulance. I hand in a sketch of the trench. I gave orders for the Battn. Grenadiers to collect any explosives. 2nd Evidence. Lieut FJ Blackley, RAMC, states: I was told about 3.30pm on the 31st August 1915 that an accident occurred in connection with bomb throwing. I arrived at the spot in about 5 minutes and examined the injured men. I found five were dead and one died in about 3 minutes. I also found 8 men at a distance seriously injured. The distance varied from anything up to eight yards. One badly injured man was in the trench. The six men who were dead were all lying within a radius of six yards from the centre of the trench. They were lying in different postures. I consider that these deaths were caused by shock following numerous wounds, the great majority of which were small. 3rd Evidence. No. 8/15446 Pte CH Clarke, 8th Battn Leicestershire Regt. states: At about 3pm on the 31st August 1916, I was one of a party of 16 of the 8th Leicestershire Regiment 8 of whom were the platoon group and (8) eight of the Battalion grenadiers. The latter were preparing the bombs (Pitcher bombs) for the other men to throw. Some of the men were in the trench and some sitting down close by, the other 8 men (the group) were sitting down 4 or 5 yards behind the trench. There were about 4 boxes of live bombs close by the back of the trench about the centre. Only one box of bombs were detonated I think. There were about three different kinds of bombs in the boxes. Lieut. Baldwin called up a group leader, Lce. Corpl. Turton, and was instructing him how to use the lighter of the Pitcher bomb which he (Lce. Corpl. Turton ) had in his hand. I heard Lieut. Baldwin say ‘Look out’. Immediately afterwards I heard a violent report and saw Lieut. Baldwin fall. About 2 seconds after there was a second louder report. I threw myself on the ground flat with my face down and on getting up after about 5 seconds I saw the ground strewn with the men. I was on the left of the trench and about 5 yards from where Lieut. Baldwin was standing. I took the call ‘Look out’ to be a caution and it was on this, I flung myself down immediately after which the explosion took place. This has been customary that is, immediately before throwing to call ‘Look out.’ I noticed detonators were strewn about near the trench. 4th Evidence. No. 8/12760 Sergt. H Beeby, 8th Leicestershire Regt. 5th Evidence. No. 8/12320 Pte. F Sewell, 8th Leicestershire Regt. [KIA 22 March 1918, Arras Memorial] 6th Evidence. Lieut TC Howitt, 7th Leicestershire Regt., who was taking a squad in mechanism of bombs in the adjoining field. 7th Evidence. Captain AA Fyffe, RAMC, who gave a description of the injuries suffered by Lieut. Baldwin and others. 8th Evidence. Lieut. G Fraser, RAMC, who gave evidence of Lieut. Baldwin’s injuries. 9th Evidence. Lieut. P Hinckley, 9th Batt. Leicestershire Regt. states: I am the Bombing Officer of the 9th Battn. Leicestershire Regiment and have worked in conjunction with the late Lieut. Baldwin … He was always most careful and took every possible precaution. He knew his work thoroughly and was absoluntely reliable. The Pitcher bomb was used and was the cause of the accident, I am convinced from all enquiries I have made. In my experience I have found the method of lighting to be most satisfactory [?typing error for ‘unsatisfactory’] and I consider it a dangerous bomb to the thrower. 10th Evidence. Major WHW Young, 7th Batt. Leicestershire Regt., states: I have examined the fuze of a Pitcher bomb and in my opinion it has the following defects … [five points listed] … I have examined the fuzes, bombs, also the boxes of the bombs issued to my Battalions and can find no marks or labels showing that they have undergone inspection by the Army Inspection Dept. 11th Evidence. Lieut. C Jennings 7th Battn. Leicestershire Regt., states: I am bombing officer of my Battalion. I am of opinion that the Pitcher bomb is unsuitable as a hand grenade unless the thrower has absolute protection. It has been known to do damage at a distance up to 200 yards. [evidence continued]
Remembered on


  • -
  • Source: Eastwood and Kimberley Advertiser
    - Source: Eastwood and Kimberley Advertiser