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  •  Buried in Cabaret-Rouge British Cemetery, Souchez, France. (www.cwgc.org)
Person Details
10 Nov 1875
Sneinton Nottingham
John was the son of John Sykes and his second wife Catherine (née Underwood). His father John was born in Woodhouse Eaves, Leicestershire, in 1835, the son of Thomas and Elizabeth Sykes, and was baptised at the parish church on 20 September 1835. John married Sarah Wesley, also of Woodhouse Eaves, in the parish church on 27 December 1858 and they had a daughter, Mary Ann in 1860 (d. 1881). In 1861 the family was living in Woodhouse Eaves; John was a framework knitter. Sarah died in 1868 (J/F/M). His mother Catherine was also born in Woodhouse Eaves, the daughter of Thomas and Alice Underwood, and baptised in the parish church on 20 February 1845. She had a son, Henry (Harry) Underwood who was born in Nottingham in 1867. John and Catherine were married at Loughborough All Saints on 21 November 1868 and had at least nine children, three of whom died in infancy or childhood. With the exception of their first child, Alice, the children were born in either Sneinton or Nottingham: Alice Maud b. Woodhouse 1871 (J/F/M) d. Nottingham 1872 (J/F/M); Lizzie (reg. Eliza) b. 15 October 1872 bap. Sneinton St Matthias 6 June 1883; Henrietta b. 1874 (J/F/M) d. 1875 (A/M/J); John b. 10 November 1875 bap. 6 June 1883; Thomas b. 10 May 1877 bap. 6 June 1883; Charles Edwin b. 30 April 1880 bap. 6 June 1883; Andrew William b. 4 November 1883 bap. Sneinton St Alban 12 January 1889; William Ernest b. 6 December 1885 (reg. 1886) bap. St Matthias 3 May 1886 d. 1886 (A/M/J) and Albert b. 1887 bap. St Alban 12 January 1889. In 1871, three years after their marriage, John and Catherine, along with her son Henry Underwood (3) and their daughter Alice (under one year) were living on Main Street, Woodhouse. John's daughter Mary (11) was a domestic servant in the household of John and Mary Ratcliffe, also in Woodhouse. Alice died the following year and a daughter Henrietta, born in 1874, died in 1875. By 1881 the family had moved to Nottingham and living at 27 Royal Oak Hill, Sneinton: John, a framework knitter, Catherine, a seamstress, Mary Ann, Eliza (8), John (5), Thomas (3) and Charles (under one year). Also in the household was their granddaughter, Harriet Sykes who was born in Nottingham in 1878. Her mother's maiden name was Sykes so she may have been Mary's daughter. Mary Ann died later that year (A/M/J) aged 21. Catherine's son, Harry (13) was living in Woodhouse with his maternal grandparents, Thomas and Eliza Underwood, and was still living with his widowed grandmother in 1891. John and Catherine were still living at 27 Royal Oak Hill when their son William was baptised in 1886 (d. 1886), but the 1889 baptismal records for Andrew and Albert show that the family had now moved to 12 Nelson Square, Sneinton. In 1891 John and Catherine were living at 61 Henry Street, Sneinton, with their five sons John, a railway dray boy, Thomas, Charles, Andrew (7) and Albert (3). They were still at the same address when John attested in the Militia three years later. Catherine Sykes died in 1897 aged about 51 and her children had dispersed by 1901. John was probably a boarder with a family living on Napoleon Terrace, Bell Street, Nottingham, and working as a wheel maker for hosiery machines. Lizzie was married (William Clarke m. 1898) and living on Upper Eldon Street, Sneinton, with her two daughters, Elsie and Mabel, and her brothers Thomas, a railway plate layer, and Andrew, a carriage puncher for lace machines. Charles, a general labourer (cycle trade) was living with a famiiy in Wagstaff's Yard, Nottingham, and Albert, a pit boy, was living with a coal miner and his family on Blackstone Street, Meadows. Their father John was probably a gardener/labourer at Blenheim Farm, Nottingham, with his wife Harriet (no marriage registration yet traced). John jnr. has not yet been traced on the 1911 Census. Of his five siblings: Lizzie, her husband William (b. 23 October 1870) and four of their five surviving children, William (6), Herbert (3), Edward (1) and Arthur (2m), were living with her brother Charles in Coventry in 1911. However, they had moved to 96 Chandos Street by 1915 when her brother Thomas named her his next of kin when he attested in the Sherwood Foresters. Lizzie and William, a car engine fitter, were still at the same address in 1939. Lizzie died in 1944. Thomas, a collier, was living in St John's Yard, Red Lion Street, in 1911. However, by 1914 he was a miner and living at East Avenue, Woodlands, Doncaster Regiment when at the age of about 36 he attested in the West Riding Regiment on 3 September. He was struck off the strength as a deserter on 28 May 1915 but joined the Sherwood Foresters (26918 Private) on 3 June 1915 stating that he had previously served in the Notts & Derby Regiment (probably the Miiitia). He gave his address as 90 Chandos Street, Coventry, and named his sister Elizabeth Clarke of 96 Chandos Street his next of kin. He served at Home 3 June 1915-5 March 1916, France 6 March 1916-28 June 1917 and Home 29 June 1917-5 September 1917. He was discharged in September 1917 as no longer physically fit for war service and was discharged to East View, Woodlands, Doncaster. Thomas may have died in 1935 (J/F/M Coventry). Charles had moved to Coventry by 1911 where he was living at 98 Chandos Street with his wife Louisa (née Riley, m. 1903) and their three daughters. Also in the household were his sister Lizzie, her husband and their three sons (two more of their children were not in the home on the night of the census) Charles died in 1913. Andrew married Jane Claringburn in 1910 and they were living in Nottingham in 1911. However, they had moved to 94 Chandos Street, Coventry, by 1916 where their two sons were born. In 1939 when the England & Wales Register was compiled, Andrew, his wife and their two sons, Andrew (b. 1916) and Harold (b. 1919), were still living in Coventry. Andrew was a shopkeeper (tobacco and sweets). He died in 1963. Albert, aged 23, a collier hewer of Red Lion Street, Nottingham, was a prisoner in HMP Bagthorpe in 1911 having been found guilty of the theft of 'brass, lead and iron value 30 shillings from the Devonshire Arms, Station Street, Nottingham on 11 February.' He was sentenced to two months imprisonment, 'Prisoner said he could get no work, as his eyesight was failing him.' (NEP 22 February 1911) Albert enlisted on 8 October 1916 at Skipton, Yorkshire, under the Military Services Act 1916. He gave an address in Long Eaton, Derbyshire, occupation fitter's labourer and that he had previously served in the Notts and Derby Regiment (probably the Militia). His brother Andrew of 94 Chandos Street, Coventry, was named as his next of kin. Albert served in the 470 HSE Coy Labour Corps (194645) from 3 October until 21 May 1919. He has not been traced after this date.
In 1891 he was a railway dray boy but by 1894 when he attested in the Militia he was working as a labourer for Albert Dowell of 61 Henry Street, Sneinton.
12 Mar 1915
584161 - CWGC Website
Sneinton Nottingham.
1st Bn Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment)
John attested in the Militia on 30 May 1894 aged 18 years 6 months and served in the 4th Bn Notts & Derby Regiment. He was present in 1895. John served in France from 11 December 1914. He was killed in action on 12 March 1915 and is buried in Cabaret-Rouge British Cemetery, Souchez, France (grave ref. XXVIII.E.11). He qualified for the 1914/15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal. CWGC - History of Caberet-Rouge British Cemetery (extract): 'Caberet Rouge was a small, red-bricked, red-tiled café that stood close to this site in the early days of the First World War. The café was destroyed by shellfire in March 1915 but it gave its unusual name to this sector and to a communication trench that led troops up the front-line. Commonwealth soldiers began burying their fallen comrades here in March 1916. The cemetery was used mostly by the 47th (London) Division and the Canadian Corps until August 1917 and by different fighting units until September 1918. It was greatly enlarged in the years after the war when as many as 7,000 graves were concentrated here from over 100 other cemeteries in the area. For much of the twentieth century, Cabaret-Rouge British Cemetery served as one of a small number of ‘open cemeteries’ at which the remains of fallen servicemen newly discovered in the region were buried. Today the cemetery contains over 7,650 burials of the First World War, over half of which remain unidentified.' (www.cwgc.org)
His brothers Thomas and Albert also served in the war (See 'Family history') Nottigham Evening Post, 29 April 1915: photograph with caption, 'Pte J Sykes, 1st Sherwood Foresters, late of Swansea, a native of Sneinton, killed in action at Neuve Chapelle.' Registers of Soldiers' Effects: his brother Andrew William was his sole legatee
Remembered on


  •  Buried in Cabaret-Rouge British Cemetery, Souchez, France. (www.cwgc.org)
    John Sykes - Buried in Cabaret-Rouge British Cemetery, Souchez, France. (www.cwgc.org)
  • Photograph published in the Nottingham Evening Post, 29 April 1915. Courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918
    John Sykes - Photograph published in the Nottingham Evening Post, 29 April 1915. Courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918