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  •  Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone marking the grave of John William Pett at The General Cemetery, Nottingham. Courtesy of Peter Gillings September 2020
Person Details
Treharris Glamorgan Wales
John William Pett was born in 1876, the son of William, an engine fitter, and Mary Pett (née Heard). William was born in 1851 in Cornwall and Mary Jane Heard was born in 1853 in Wales. They were married in 1875 at Pontyprid. John William married Sarah Evelyn (Evelyn) Gregory on 8 July 1903 at St Mary's Church, Ilkeston. They had two children, John (Jack) Evelyn born 3 July 1904 and Richard (Dick) Charles born 7 May 1916; both children were born in Bulwell, Nottingham. In 1911 John William, a commercial traveller in hardware on his own account (working from home), was a boarder at 89 Alfreton Road, New Radford, Nottingham, in the home of Agnes Weldon, a fancy drapery dealer. Evelyn and their son Richard were living at 191 Wollaton Street, Nottingham, with her widowed mother, Emma Jane Gregory, while her son John was living with his paternal grandparents, William and Mary Jane Pett, in Treharris, Glamorgan. John named his wife and sons as his next of kin when he enlisted in 1914. The family's original address was deleted (illegible) and altered to 2 Hampden Cottages, Russell Street, Portland Road, Nottingham. This was given as Evelyn's address on the later CWGC record. In 1939 when the England & Wales Register was compiled, Evelyn and her son John, a builders' labourer, were living on Gregory Boulevard, Nottingham, with Evelyn's unmarried sisters, Helen, a milliner, and Minnie a milliner's assistant. Evelyn's occupation was given as housekeeper. Richard (no occupation) was a patient at a 'Public Assistance Institution', 700 Hucknall Road, Nottingham. Evelyn died in 1966.
1911 - commercial traveller (hardware) on his own account
25 May 1917
38
2750539 - CWGC Website
SS/577
Enlisted Nottingham
Corporal
Army Service Corps
Army Service Corps John William Pett's army service record survives. He enlisted on 11th August 1914 at Nottingham, giving his age as 34 years and 74 days, occupation clerk. He joined the Army Service Corps on 15 August 1914 at Aldershot and was promoted corporal on 25 August. He embarked at Southampton on 26 August 1914 onboard SS 'Welchaman', disembarking the following day at Le Havre. John was posted to No. 2 Labour Company (Rouen) on 27 August, then attached to No. 1a Depot Unit of Supply (Rouen) on 1 March 1915. On 15 November 1915 he was transferred to No. 2 Labour Company, Section C, Gang 3 (Rouen). From 1 January 1915 to January 1916, John's service papers record a series of offences ranging from absence from place of work, accompanying men into a café when on duty, and being late for parade to neglect of duty. The offences resulted in either a reprimand or a severe reprimand, but he continued to retain his rank. He was twice in hospital, 30 January 1915 for several days (influenza) and 22 July-27 July 1915 (bronchitis). However, on 3 February 1916 he was admitted to No. 12 General Hospital but was transferred the same day to No. 8 General Hospital ('Mental'). On 12 February he was invalided to England (SS St. Denis). The medical reports from both hospitals recorded that he had 'various delusions of grandeur' including asserting that he was 'a managing director of a big firm in London' and 'a famous football player.' He was also described as 'talkative and interfering and had exalted ideas and delusions.' John appeared before a Medical Board at Netley Hospital within days of arriving in England and the Board's report dated 16 February recommended that he should be discharged as being 'permanently unfit' with a note that his condition in relation to future work was 'total incapacity.' His condition was not a result of military service. His service record shows that he served up to and including 10 March 1916. Netley Hospital, also known as the Royal Victoria Hospital, was a large military hospital near Southampton. It was built in the 1850s and during the First World War included a Red Cross hutted hospital which expanded the hospital’s capacity to 2,500 beds. Two blocks formed a psychiatric hospital, one wing of which had been opened in the 1870s as the army’s first purpose-built military asylum. John died on 25 May 1917 and was buried in Nottingham General Cemetery. Service record: Home 11 August 1918-25 August 1914. BEF France 26 August 1914-13 February 1916. Home 14 February 1916-10 March 1916. Total service 1 year 213 days. He qualfied for the 1914 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal.
CWGC additional information: 'Son of William and Mary Pett; husband of Evelyn Pett, of 2, Hampden Cottages, Russell St., Nottingham. Born at Treharris, Glam.'
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Photos

  •  Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone marking the grave of John William Pett at The General Cemetery, Nottingham. Courtesy of Peter Gillings September 2020
    John William Pett - Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone marking the grave of John William Pett at The General Cemetery, Nottingham. Courtesy of Peter Gillings September 2020